Adolescent Development - PREP

PREP – Adolescent Development

Adolescent development, or the transition to adulthood, refers to not only the physiological changes youth experience, but also the cognitive, emotional, social, sexual, identity formation, and spiritual change and growth that occurs. Successful adolescent development is a product of preparation and capacity building, providing youth with the necessary tools to become "successful" adults.

Strategies Used to Foster Positive Youth Development

  • Youth Empowerment
  • Fostering a group or community identity
  • Gender–based empowerment and community awareness
  • Mentorship Connection to the Community

Tips on Incorporating Adolescent Development Activities

Incorporate self–esteem, empowerment, and self–determination concepts.
  • Program leaders should exhibit positive attitudes.
  • Exercises may include identifying individual strengths, goals, and sources of community pride.
Utilize a strengths–based approach (focus on capacity and opportunity).
  • Program curricula and facilitators should emphasize opportunities for growth and improvement.
  • Emphasize capacity–building, opportunities, and goal–setting rather than activities grounded in avoiding specific problem behaviors.
Tailor the program to the culture and/or gender of participants in an appropriate way.
  • Involve community members (e.g., teachers, parents, community leaders).
  • Conduct group discussions and activities that help establish a social norm of healthy attitudes and values towards a given health behavior or decision.
  • Identify particular strengths, challenges, attitudes, and values of the intervention group. This can be done through reflection exercises, group discussions, and brainstorming.
Incorporate mentors.
  • Mentors should be models of successful transition to adulthood, relative to the program participant (e.g., college students or young adults to mentor high school students).
  • Mentors should come from within the community.
Foster sustainable support systems through mentors, family, community involvement.
  • Mentors, family members, teachers, and peers serve as role models to reinforce values and goals.
  • Involvement with community or school organizations through the learning process establishes supportive connectivity that is sustained beyond the length of the program.
  • Involve school and/or community members in program implementation — activities may include community service outreach and volunteering.
Conduct booster, or follow–up, programs.
  • "Refresher" courses can be taught at 6–month or one–year intervals following completion of original program.
  • Follow–up programming can be altered to align with the group’s progressing developmental stage.
Improve monitoring and evaluation of programs.
  • Collection and analysis of process and outcome indicators help identify individual program strengths and challenges.
  • Installment of follow–up programming can greatly contribute to the quality of data to assess long–term effects of the program.

The above information was taken from: Family and Youth Services Bureau. Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program, PREP Adult Preparation Subjects – Resource Guide (PDF), 2011

PREP curricula incorporating adolescent development activities and/or lessons

Other Adolescent Development Resources