Youth Development Programs, Essential Elements of
Daniel F. Perkins & Lynne M. Borden
During adolescence, young people have a significant amount of free time available to them. For instance, one research study found that approximately 40% of the waking hours of a sample of high school youth was spent in leisure time (Csikszentmihalyi & Larson, 1984). In addition, much of adolescents' free time may be spent without companionship or supervision from adults. Community-based youth organizations fill that discretionary time with important opportunities for socialization and learning. They provide contexts for youth to develop critical life skills and competencies. Indeed, many studies have documented that youth participation in school and community-based youth programs can contribute to a variety of positive developmental outcomes, as well as increased resiliency and protective factors (Catalano, Berglund, Ryan, Lonczak, & Hawkins, 1999; Redd, Cochran, Hair, & Moore, 2002). Moreover, the seminal book by the National Research Council and Institute of Medicine (2002), Community Programs to Promote Youth Development , ...