Positive Youth Development in Organized Programs: How Teens Learn to Manage Emotions

  • Natalie Rusk
  • Reed W. Larson
  • Marcela Raffaelli
  • Kathrin Walker
  • LaTesha Washington
  • Vanessa Gutierrez
  • Hyeyoung Kang
  • Steve Tran
  • Stephen Cole Perry

Abstract

Organized youth programs provide opportunities for adolescents to develop life and career skills while working on real-world projects, such as planning community events or creating public service announcements. In this chapter, we focus on adolescents’ development of skills for managing emotions. We first discuss how youth learn strategies for handling emotions that arise in their work on projects, and then look at how adult program leaders facilitate youth’s learning. Key findings from our qualitative research are that youth learn about emotions through active, conscious processes of observing and analyzing their experiences; and they learn not only to regulate frustration, anger, and worry, but also to use the functional aspects of these emotions in constructive ways. Program leaders facilitate youth’s active learning process through emotion coaching – helping youth reflect on unfolding emotional episodes, consider alternative strategies, and persist in problem solving. The chapter shows how effective organized programs provide rich affordances for positive youth development.

References

  1. Baumeister, R. F., Bratslavsky, E., Finkenauer, C., & Vohs, K. D. (2001). Bad is stronger than good. Review of General Psychology, 5, 323–370.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Baumeister, R. F., Vohs, K. D., DeWall, C. N., & Zhang, L. (2007). How emotion shapes behavior: Feedback, anticipation, and reflection, rather than direct causation. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 11, 167–203.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Blascovich, J. (2008). Challenge, threat, and health. In J. Y. Shah & W. L. Gardner (Eds.), Handbook of motivation science (pp. 481–493). New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
  4. Brackett, M. A., Rivers, S. E., & Salovey, P. (2011). Emotional intelligence: Implications for ­personal, social, academic, and workplace success. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 5, 88–103.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bradley, S. (2000). Affect regulation and the development of psychopathology. New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
  6. Calkins, S. D., & Leerkes, E. M. (2010). Early attachment processes and the development of emotional self-regulation. In K. D. Vohs & R. F. Baumeister (Eds.), Handbook of self-regulation: Research, theory and applications (2nd ed., pp. 355–373). New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
  7. Cannon, W. (1932). The wisdom of the body. New York: Peter Smith.Google Scholar
  8. Cooper, C. R. (2011). Bridging multiple worlds: Cultures, identities, and pathways to college. New York: Oxford University.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Dahl, R. (2004). Adolescent brain development: A period of vulnerabilities and opportunities. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1021, 1–22.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Dawes, N. P., & Larson, R. W. (2011). How youth get engaged: Grounded-theory research on motivational development in organized youth programs. Developmental Psychology, 47, 259–269.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Durlak, J. A., Weissberg, R. P., & Pachan, M. (2010). A meta-analysis of after-school programs that seek to promote personal and social skills in children and adolescents. American Journal of Community Psychology, 45, 294–309.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Eccles, J. S., & Gootman, J. A. (Eds.). (2002). Community programs to promote youth development. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.Google Scholar
  13. Fridja, N. H. (1986). The emotions. Cambridge: Cambridge University.Google Scholar
  14. Gottman, J. M., Katz, L., & Hooven, C. (1996). Parental meta-emotion philosophy and the emotional life of families: Theoretical models and preliminary data. Journal of Family Psychology, 10, 243–268.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Gottman, J. M., Katz, L. F., & Hooven, C. (1997). Meta-emotion: How families communicate emotionally. Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  16. Grawitch, M., & Munz, D. (2005). Individual and group affect in problem-solving workgroups. In C. E. J. Härtel, W. J. Zerbe, & N. M. Ashkanasy (Eds.), Emotions in organizational behavior (pp. 119–142). Mahwah: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  17. Gross, J., & Thompson, R. A. (2007). Emotion regulation: Conceptual foundations. In J. Gross (Ed.), Handbook of emotion regulation (pp. 3–24). New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
  18. Harris, P. L., Olthof, T., & Meerum Terwogt, M. (1981). Children’s knowledge of emotion. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 22, 247–261.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Heath, S. B. (1998). Working through language. In S. M. Hoyle & C. T. Adger (Eds.), Kids talk: Strategic language use in later childhood (pp. 217–240). New York: Oxford University.Google Scholar
  20. Hirsch, B. J., Deutsch, N., & DuBois, D. (2011). After-school centers and youth development: Case studies of success and failure. New York: Cambridge University.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Izard, C. (2009). Emotion theory and research: Highlights, unanswered questions, and emerging issues. Annual Review of Psychology, 60, 1–25.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Izard, C., Stark, K., Trentacosta, C., & Schultz, D. (2008). Beyond emotion regulation: Emotion utilization and adaptive functioning. Child Development Perspectives, 2, 156–163.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Kaplan, A., & Maehr, M. (2007). The contributions and prospects of goal orientation theory. Educational Psychology Review, 19, 141–184.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Katz, L. F., & Hunter, E. C. (2007). Maternal meta-emotion philosophy and adolescent depressive symptomatology. Social Development, 16, 343–360.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Kirshner, B., O’Donoghue, J., & McLaughlin, M. W. (Eds.). (2003). Youth participation: Improving institutions and communities (New directions for youth development, Vol. 96). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  26. Kuhn, D. (2009). Adolescent thinking. In R. M. Lerner & L. Steinberg (Eds.), Handbook of adolescent psychology (3rd ed., Vol. 1, pp. 152–186). Hoboken: Wiley.Google Scholar
  27. Larson, R. W. (2000). Towards a psychology of positive youth development. American Psychologist, 55, 170–183.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Larson, R. W. (2011a). Positive development in a disorderly world. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 21, 317–334.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Larson, R. W. (2011b). Adolescents’ conscious processes of developing regulation: Learning to appraise challenges. In R. M. Lerner, J. V. Lerner, E. P. Bowers, S. Lewin-Bizan, S. Gestsdottir, & J. B. Urban (Eds.), Thriving in childhood and adolescence: The role of self-regulation processes (New directions for child and adolescent development, Vol. 133, pp. 87–97). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  30. Larson, R. W., & Brown, J. R. (2007). Emotional development in adolescence: What can be learned from a high school theater program. Child Development, 78, 1083–1099.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Larson, R. W., Hansen, D., & Moneta, G. (2006). Differing profiles of developmental experiences across types of organized youth activities. Developmental Psychology, 42, 849–863.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Lerner, R. (2002). Concepts and theories of human development. Mahwah: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  33. Lerner, J. V., Phelps, E., Forman, Y., & Bowers, E. (2009). Positive youth development. In R. M. Lerner & L. Steinberg (Eds.), Handbook of adolescent psychology (3rd ed., Vol. 1, pp. 524–558). Hoboken: Wiley.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Mahoney, J. L., Vandell, D. L., Simpkins, S. D., & Zarrett, N. R. (2009). Adolescent out-of-school activities. In R. M. Lerner & L. Steinberg (Eds.), Handbook of adolescent psychology: Contextual influences on adolescent development (3rd ed., Vol. 2, pp. 228–267). Hoboken: Wiley.Google Scholar
  35. McGregor, H. A., & Elliot, A. J. (2002). Achievement goals as predictors of achievement- relevant processes prior to task engagement. Journal of Educational Psychology, 94, 381–395.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Nolen-Hoeksema, S., Wisco, B. E., & Lyubomirsky, S. (2008). Rethinking rumination. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 3, 400–424.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Ochsner, K. N., & Gross, J. J. (2007). The neural architecture of emotion regulation. In J. J. Gross (Ed.), Handbook of emotional regulation (pp. 87–109). New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
  38. Salusky, I., Larson, R. W., Wu, J., Griffith, A., Raffaelli, M., Sugimura, N., et al. (2012). How youth develop responsibility: What can be learned from youth programs. Manuscript submitted for publication.Google Scholar
  39. Schwarz, N., & Clore, G. L. (2007). Feelings and phenomenal experiences. In A. W. Kruglanski & E. T. Higgins (Eds.), Social psychology: Handbook of basic principles (pp. 385–407). New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
  40. Steinberg, L. (2007). Risk taking in adolescence: New perspectives from brain and behavioral science. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 16, 55–59.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Stocker, C. M., Richmond, M. K., Rhoades, G. K., & Kiang, L. (2007). Family emotional processes and adolescents’ adjustment. Social Development, 16, 310–325.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Vandell, D. L., Reisner, E. R., Pierce, K. M., Brown, B. B., Lee, D., Bolt, D., et al. (2006). The study of promising afterschool programs: Examination of longer term outcomes after two years of program experiences. Madison: Wisconsin Center for Education Research.Google Scholar
  43. Walker, K. C. (2011). The multiple roles that youth development program leaders adopt with youth. Youth and Society, 43, 635–655.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Natalie Rusk
    • 1
  • Reed W. Larson
    • 2
  • Marcela Raffaelli
    • 3
  • Kathrin Walker
    • 4
  • LaTesha Washington
    • 5
  • Vanessa Gutierrez
    • 5
  • Hyeyoung Kang
    • 6
  • Steve Tran
    • 5
  • Stephen Cole Perry
    • 5
  1. 1.MIT Media Lab, Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridgeUSA
  2. 2.Department of Human and Community DevelopmentUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignUrbanaUSA
  3. 3.Department of Human and Community DevelopmentUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignUrbanaUSA
  4. 4.Extension Center for Youth DevelopmentUniversity of MinnesotaSt. PaulUSA
  5. 5.Department of Human and Community DevelopmentUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignUrbanaUSA
  6. 6.Department of Human DevelopmentBinghamton University, State University of New YorkBinghamtonUSA

Personalised recommendations