What are the sorts of environments in which youth thrives, and how do we cultivate such environments to promote optimal development and positive behavior in youth? The Youth Development Handbook gives students and practitioners in Development Psychology access to current theory and research along with illustrations of good practice. The main section is organized around the contexts in which adolescents grow up - families and neighbourhoods, peer groups, schools, youth groups and recreation groups, workplaces, religious organizations, health centers, youth courts, cyberspace. Each chapter explores the application of youth development principles to its context, drawing on current research. The next section addresses evaluation, funding, and community-wide initiatives. The concluding chapter identifies multidisciplinary themes, including youth participation, mentoring, universal versus targeted approaches, diversity, and evidence-based practice.
Stephen F. Hamilton is Professor of Human Development and Co-Director of the Family Life Development Center at Cornell University. His research and outreach support youth development, especially through 4-H, the youth component of Cooperative Extension. As a Fulbright Senior Research Fellow, he studied Germany's apprenticeship system as an institution supporting the transition to adulthood of youth without college degrees. His book, Apprenticeship for Adulthood, and the demonstration project he designed and led with Mary Agnes Hamilton helped to guide the School-to-Work Opportunities Act of 1994. He has also conducted research and contributed to program development related to service-learning and mentoring. He received his M.A.T. and Ed.D. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and taught for three years in a Washington, D.C., vocational high school. Mary Agnes Hamilton is a Senior Research Associate in Human Development at Cornell and Director of the Cornell Youth and Work Program in the Family Life Development Center. Dr. Hamilton taught for four years in public schools in Richmond, VA, and Montgomery County, Maryland. Dr. Hamilton's primary interests are education and adolescent development. Her research and program development focus on the quality of learning environments in the community, mentoring relationships between non-related adults and youth, and the transition to adulthood. She seeks to advance educational opportunities and challenges for all youth to gain character and competence. She is especially interested in those young people who do not graduate from four-year colleges. She has an M.A.T. from Duke, C.A.T. from Harvard, and Ph.D. from Cornell.