Book on youth development for practitioners

01/08/04

ITHACA, N.Y. -- To inspire and inform youth workers and others interested in cultivating environments that promote positive youth development and behavior, two experts from Cornell University have published a book that summarizes current theory, research and practice in the field.

The book is The Youth Development Handbook: Coming of Age in American Communities (Sage Publications, 2003), co-edited by Stephen Hamilton and Mary Agnes Hamilton, both of the Department of Human Development and the Family Life Development Center (FLDC) at Cornell.

"Knowledge in the field of youth development is growing rapidly," says Stephen Hamilton. "Our intent in editing this volume wasn't to present a 'how to' guide but to provide to practitioners and policy-makers access to that knowledge for use in planning programs, training practitioners and forming partnerships among families, schools, employers and community agencies." Mary Agnes Hamilton adds: "The chapter authors not only summarize the latest research in the field but also provide examples of good practice and original case studies. All chapters also address issues related to diversity and involving youth in decision making."

Chapters in Part I focus on different environments, including schools, workplaces, families, peer groups, youth-serving organizations, faith-based organizations, recreation programs, the juvenile justice system, health clinics, neighborhoods and cyberspace. Part II covers the broader issues of evaluation, funding and communitywide initiatives.

"Our concluding chapter identifies themes that cut across contexts, including mentoring, universal vs. targeted approaches and evidence-based practice," says Stephen Hamilton, Cornell professor of human development, associate provost for outreach and co-director of the FLDC at Cornell. Co-editor Mary Agnes Hamilton is a senior research associate in human development and director of the Cornell Youth and Work Program in FLDC.

Source: Eurekalert & others

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