Positive Youth Development Practices in Recreation Settings in the United States Academic Article uri icon


  • Recreation programs sponsored by park and recreation departments in the United State are moving beyond simply offering programs designed to reduce at-risk youth deficit behaviors to approaches that include the broader focus of positive youth development for all youth. Using the Developmental Assets Model and the Protective Factors/Resiliency framework, language and practice are moving from a fun and games approach to one that includes supplying the supports and opportunities necessary to enable youth to thrive. Building on ideas such as Problem free is not fully prepared and Fully prepared is not fully engaged, programs have been paying more attention to services that do more than reduce violence, problem use of drugs and alcohol, and unprotected sex among adolescents, to approaches emphasizing young people and families as partners in shaping and delivering services; developing comprehensive service systems that encompass home, school and non-school settings; along with serving the needs of all youth in the community, not just those labeled at-risk. In this paper these approaches to services are described along with case examples of how selected communities are applying these principles in their youth work efforts. Copyright by the authors.

published proceedings

  • World Leisure Journal

author list (cited authors)

  • Witt, P. A., & Crompton, J. L.

citation count

  • 12

complete list of authors

  • Witt, Peter A||Crompton, John L

publication date

  • January 2003