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School Engagement and Positive Youth Development: A Relational Developmental Systems Perspective


by Yibing Li, Jennifer P. Agans, Paul A. Chase, Miriam R. Arbeit, Michelle B. Weiner & Richard M. Lerner — 2014

This chapter explains the links between relational developmental systems theory and the strength-based, positive youth development (PYD) perspective. The Five Cs model of PYD (involving competence, confidence, connection, character, and caring) is used to assess the role of school engagement in PYD.


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This article originally appeared as NSSE Yearbook Vol 113, No. 1


Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 116 Number 13, 2014, p. 37-57
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 18288, Date Accessed: 3/26/2017 12:59:48 PM

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About the Author
  • Yibing Li
    American Institutes for Research
    E-mail Author
    YIBING LIi is a quantitative research analyst at the American Institutes for Research in Washington D.C. She studies school engagement and positive youth development. Her recent publications include an article in Developmental Psychology titled “Trajectories of School Engagement During Adolescence: Implications for Grades, Depression, Delinquency, and Substance Use.”
  • Jennifer Agans
    Tufts University
    E-mail Author
    JENNIFER P. AGANS is a doctoral student in child development at Tufts University. She studies the dynamic relations involved in participation in sports and other organized movement activities that foster positive youth development. Her recent work includes an article in Applied Developmental Science titled “Trajectories of Participation in Athletics and Positive Youth Development: The Influence of Sport Type” and a forthcoming chapter in Advances in Child Development and Behavior titled “Positive Movement Experiences: Approaching the Study of Athletic Participation, Exercise, and Leisure Activity Through Relational Developmental Systems Theory and the Concept of Embodiment.”
  • Paul Chase
    Tufts University
    E-mail Author
    PAUL CHASE is a doctoral student in the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Development at Tufts University. He studies the impact of intentional self-regulation on academic achievement in adolescence, and the evaluation of youth programs. He recently coauthored a chapter in the Handbook of Resilience in Children, entitled “Resilience and Positive Youth Development: A Relational Developmental Systems Model.”
  • Miriam Arbeit
    Tufts University
    E-mail Author
    MIRIAM R. ARBEIT is a doctoral student in child development at Tufts University. She studies adolescent sexuality development, with specific attention to how school-based and out-of-school-time programs can foster skill building and critical thinking in relation to sexuality and sexual health. Her recent work includes a presentation titled, “Exploring the Role of Personal Agency in Adolescent Sexual Health: Goal Pursuit Skills and the Use of Protection,” at the Society for the Study of Human Development.
  • Michelle Weiner
    Tufts University
    E-mail Author
    MICHELLE B. WEINER is a doctoral student in child development at Tufts University. She studies the individual and contextual factors associated with the development of entrepreneurial intent, characteristics, and interests. Her recent work includes a chapter in the Handbook of Resilience in Children titled, “Resilience and Positive Youth Development: A Relational Developmental Systems Model” and a poster titled, “The Young Entrepreneurship Study: Characteristics of Young Entrepreneurs” presented at the New England Psychological Association conference.
  • Richard Lerner
    Tufts University
    E-mail Author
    RICHARD M. LERNER is the Bergstrom Chair in Applied Developmental Science and the director of the Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development at Tufts University. He studies positive development among diverse youth, nationally and internationally. His recent publications include editing, with Jacqueline V. Lerner and Janette B. Benson, Positive Youth Development, Volume 41 of Advances in Child Development and Behavior.
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