The role of ecological assets in positive and problematic developmental trajectories

Edmond P. Bowers, Alexander von Eye, Jacqueline V. Lerner, Miriam R. Arbeit, Michelle B. Weiner, Paul Chase, Jennifer P. Agans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Two theoretical perspectives have been proposed to describe, explain, and intervene in adolescent development - prevention science and positive youth development (PYD). An integrative model bridging these two perspectives posits that it is important to assess the extent to which the same, similar, or complementary mechanisms may be responsible for preventing problem behavior and promoting PYD. Therefore, using data from the 4-H Study of PYD, the present study examines the role of assets in the family, school, and neighborhood in differentiating trajectories of goal-optimization and delinquency in a sample of 626 youth (50.9% female) from Grades 5 to 11. The results indicated that collective activity in the family best predicted membership for the five goal-optimization trajectories while school-based assets differentiated the four delinquency trajectories that were identified. The findings suggest that multidimensional approaches may be most effective to promote PYD and prevent problem behaviors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1151-1165
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Adolescence
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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