Developing a Federal Research Agenda for Positive Youth Development: Identifying Gaps in the Field and an Effective Consensus Building Approach

Suzanne Le Menestrel, National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
Michelle J. Boyd, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Lisa Lauxman, U.S. Department of

The field of positive youth development (PYD) is at an important crossroads in scope and future research directions. This paper describes an effective consensus building process that representatives from 16 federal agencies used to develop a PYD product and research agenda.

The representatives identified and refined three research domains—conceptual issues related to PYD, data sources and indicators, and program implementation and effectiveness—and key research questions for future research. We share lessons learned from our experience to emphasize the importance of organizational systems change efforts and interagency collaborations. A major contribution of this paper is to provide federal perspective on specific areas for future research in PYD and to describe future implications for PYD policy and interagency collaborations.

Principal Researcher