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Opportunity Youth: Disenfranchised Young People

Opportunity Youth: Disenfranchised Young People

Page 28 of

Page 28 of 72

III. Positive Youth Development Positive Youth Development (PYD) refers to intentional efforts of other youth, adults, communities, government agencies and schools to provide opportunities for youth to enhance their interests, skills, and abilities. PYD is used in scientific literature and by practitioners who work with youth to refer to programs designed to optimize developmental progress. PYD differs from other approaches to youth in that it rejects an emphasis on trying to correct what is "wrong" with children's behavior or development. Programs and practitioners seek to empathize with, educate, and engage children in productive activities. While not particularly common in use yet, PYD has been used across the world to address social divisions, such as gender and ethnic differences. Background Positive youth development originated from ecological systems theory to focus on the strengths of adolescence. It is also similar conceptually with the principles of positive psychology. Central to its philosophy, the theory of PYD suggests that "if young people have mutually beneficial relations with the people and institutions of their social world, Page 29 of 72

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