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Developmental Assets Among Young People in Three European Contexts: Italy, Norway and Turkey

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Abstract

Background

Within the positive youth development (PYD) perspective, internal assets (e.g., social competencies and positive identity) and external assets (e.g., support and empowerment) constitute developmental assets that can facilitate positive youth outcomes. This assertion has been studied mainly in the US context and to a lesser degree in European samples.

Objective

We extend the scope of PYD research by assessing developmental assets among young people in three contexts that differ economically, culturally and politically: Italy, Norway and Turkey. Interactions with gender and parents’ educational level are also examined.

Method

A cross-sectional data on developmental assets was collected from Italian (n = 526, 41% girls), Norwegian (n = 592, 56% girls) and Turkish (n = 116, 63% girls) secondary school students during the 2015/2016 academic year.

Results

In all three countries, most participants had experienced several of the developmental assets although internal assets were reported more often than external assets. Country differences were observed, where young people in Norway and Turkey reported more assets than their Italian counterparts did. An interaction between country and gender revealed that girls in Norway reported the highest number of developmental assets. In addition, participants in Italy who had fathers with higher educational level reported most of the constructive use of time assets.

Conclusion

Differences in the experience of the assets among young people appear to be a reflection of the economic, social, cultural and political structures of the respective countries.

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Acknowledgements

This research was funded by the Faculty of Psychology, University of Bergen, Norway. We would like to thank the reviewers and editors for their valuable comments and suggestions. We acknowledge also our youth participants in Italy, Norway and Turkey for their engagement in the present study.

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Correspondence to Nora Wiium.

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All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

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Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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Wiium, N., Dost-Gözkan, A. & Kosic, M. Developmental Assets Among Young People in Three European Contexts: Italy, Norway and Turkey. Child Youth Care Forum 48, 187–206 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10566-018-9446-1

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