Original Paper

American Journal of Community Psychology

, Volume 39, Issue 3, pp 269-286

Effects of positive youth development programs on school, family, and community systems

  • Joseph A. DurlakAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Loyola University Chicago Email author 
  • , Rebecca D. TaylorAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, University of Illinois at Chicago
  • , Kei KawashimaAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Loyola University Chicago
  • , Molly K. PachanAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Loyola University Chicago
  • , Emily P. DuPreAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Loyola University Chicago
  • , Christine I. CelioAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Loyola University Chicago
  • , Sasha R. BergerAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Loyola University Chicago
  • , Allison B. DymnickiAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, University of Illinois at Chicago
  • , Roger P. WeissbergAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, University of Illinois at ChicagoCollaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning

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Abstract

A review of efforts at social system change in 526 universal competence-promotion outcome studies indicated that 64% of the interventions attempted some type of microsystemic or mesosystemic change involving schools, families, or community-based organizations in an attempt to foster developmental competencies in children and adolescents. Only 24% of the reports provided quantitative data on the change that occurred in targeted systems. However, studies containing the necessary information produced several mean effect sizes that were statistically significant, and ranged from modest to large in magnitude. These data indicate that attempts to change social systems affecting children and adolescents can be successful. Future work should measure more thoroughly the extent to which the systemic changes that are targeted through intervention are achieved, and investigate how such changes contribute to the development and sustainability of the outcomes that might be demonstrated by participants of competence-promotion programs.

Keywords

Meta-analysis Positive youth development Prevention Promotion Systems Youth