With structure and support, young people can successfully attain relevant and appropriate developmental milestones. Child and youth well-being is attainable through fostering positive development, beginning in the earliest years of life.
A major issue for the nation is how to support positive experiences and learning for youth, and how to enable pathways for successful transitions to independent adult roles. Far too many young Americans are detached from both education and labor markets. Far too many are in the criminal justice system. Far too many suffer from mental health problems, substance abuse, violence, and suicide. Far too many of the survivors do not have behaviors or technical skills that prepare them to earn a living. As the labor market has receded from young people, new social innovations and opportunities for positive youth development are required.
Our focus is on testing interventions that enhance opportunities for children and youth to succeed in life, to become contributors to the social economy and to develop into positive role models for the next generation.