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Positive Youth Development Requires Comprehensive Health Promotion Programs

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Objective: To explore relationships among problem and positive youth behaviors, commonalities among their predictors, and implications for prevention. Methods: Review etiology and prevention literatures. Results: Risky/unhealthy/antisocial behaviors, poor mental health, and poor academic achievement are highly prevalent and pose critical dilemmas for parents and educators. All behaviors are highly correlated with, and predict, each other; have many of the same risk and protective factors; and strongly influence success and happiness in life. Some examples of comprehensive programs with positive results in multiple domains are provided. Conclusion: We need to prevent problem behaviors and promote positive behaviors with comprehensive, coherent, and integrated approaches.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Public Health (Community Health Sciences) and Psychology, Health Research and Policy Centers, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago IL.

Publication date: November 1, 2002

More about this publication?
  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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