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Beyond Between-Group Differences: Considering Race and Ethnicity in Research on Positive Youth Development Programs

Sat, April 2, 3:45 to 5:15pm, Hilton Baltimore, 1st Floor, Peale A

Session Type: Roundtable

Integrative Statement

The Positive Youth Development (PYD) framework has become an influential approach to research and programming within the field of adolescent development. One of the foundational ideas within PYD models is that all youth have the potential to thrive, regardless of their background (Lerner, Dowling & Anderson, 2003). Yet there has been limited attention paid to the role of race and ethnicity in research on PYD programs. PYD perspectives generally acknowledge the importance of racial and ethnic diversity in relation to effective youth development programs; for instance, opportunities for ethno-cultural identity development, respect for and knowledge of other racial/ethnic groups, and feeling included regardless of racial/ethnic background are all recognized as central values (Eccles & Gootman, 2002). However, outside of acknowledging the importance of these factors, most theories provide limited insight into why and how they matter. This roundtable focuses on race and ethnicity, which, we argue, are cultural contexts themselves. Yet, as grouping categories, they can encompass multiple cultures within them. Panelists will discuss theoretical and methodological approaches to considering race and ethnicity in both PYD programming and research, using examples drawn from their own scholarship as well as from the field at large. The major aim of the roundtable is to engage attendees in discussion of means by which we can, as a field, expand the ways in which we consider racial and ethnic diversity within our work.

Panelists: Joanna Lee Williams, Nancy L. Deutsch, and Sandra Simpkins; Moderator: Aerika Brittian

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