Promoting Positive Youth Development Through Scouting Chapter uri icon


  • One important attribute involved in Positive Youth Development (PYD) is character, which is associated with having a moral or ethical compass, or the proclivity to do the right thing at the right time and in the right place. Youth developmental programs represent key ecological contexts for the development of positive attributes among youth, including character development. Being a part of the worldwide umbrella organization of Scouting, Boy Scouts of America (BSA) constitutes an exemplar character focused youth development program, serving approximately 2.5 million youth across the United States. In this chapter, we provide empirical evidence from a mixed-methods longitudinal evaluation project to illustrate what works in BSA programs in promoting youth character development, and how the process is similar or different across diverse participant populations. We explain the common features (e.g., the Big Three) that should be implemented in youth serving programs, as well as the areas to be individualized and contextualized considering the specific youth population being served. We discuss the usefulness of the relational developmental systems metatheory in guiding research, policy, and practice and advocate for more research-practice collaboration to embrace evaluative thinking and intentional programming.

author list (cited authors)

  • Wang, J., Chase, P. A., & Burkhard, B. M.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Wang, Jun||Chase, Paul A||Burkhard, Brian M

editor list (cited editors)

  • Dimitrova, R., & Wiium, N.

Book Title

  • Handbook of Positive Youth Development

publication date

  • October 2021