Thriving is a condition beyond mere survival, implying growth and positive development.
The synthesis of existing lines of research has given a lens through which to view research, theory, and practice in the field of youth development.Whereas positive youth development theory has focused on resiliency and competence, thriving encourages youth development researchers, scholars, and practitioners to view youth as community and social assets to be nurtured and developed. 4-H Center for Youth Development researchers, Heck, Subramaniam, and Carlos (2010), capture it this way: “Thriving is intentional and purposeful. It connotes optimal development across a variety of life domains, such as social, academic and professional/career development, towards a positive purpose.”
Thriving in youth is an upward trajectory marked by: The knowledge of and ability to tap into inner sources of motivation, or spark (Benson, 2008);an incremental, growth mindset oriented towards learning (Dweck, 2006); and the goal management skills necessary to succeed and grow. Youth who are on the path to reaching their fullest potential possess the following indicators of thriving: Love of learning; life skills; healthy habits; emotional competence; social skills; positive relationships; spiritual growth; character; caring; confidence; persistent resourcefulness; and purpose.
Despite the concept of thriving having existed in clinical and medical literature and research for many years, its application to positive youth development has evolved more recently. Starting in 2000, the Thrive Foundation for Youth stimulated a study of thriving within the field of positive youth development. Making significant investments in scientific research to define thriving in youth and ways that caring adults can encourage youth thriving trajectories. The Thrive Foundation for Youth funded prominent scientists in the field of positive youth development to define thriving and indicators of thriving.
The University of California 4-H Youth Development Programis the first youth development organization in the country to utilize the thriving framework and concepts on a large scale basis, focusing on statewide youth-adult partnership training and positive youth outcome evaluation.
Adolescence is a transitional stage of physical and psychological development that generally occurs during the period from puberty to adulthood. Adolescence is usually associated with the teenage years, but its physical, psychological or cultural expressions may begin earlier and end later. Puberty now typically begins during preadolescence, particularly in females. Physical growth and cognitive development can extend past the teens. Age provides only a rough marker of adolescence, and scholars have not agreed upon a precise definition. Some definitions start as early as 10 and end as late as 25 or 26. The World Health Organization definition officially designates an adolescent as someone between the ages of 10 and 19.
In sociology, a peer group is both a social group and a primary group of people who have similar interests (homophily), age, background, or social status. The members of this group are likely to influence the person's beliefs and behaviour.
Youth empowerment is a process where children and young people are encouraged to take charge of their lives. They do this by addressing their situation and then take action in order to improve their access to resources and transform their consciousness through their beliefs, values, and attitudes. Youth empowerment aims to improve quality of life. Youth empowerment is achieved through participation in youth empowerment programs. However scholars argue that children's rights implementation should go beyond learning about formal rights and procedures to give birth to a concrete experience of rights. There are numerous models that youth empowerment programs use that help youth achieve empowerment. A variety of youth empowerment initiatives are underway around the world. These programs can be through non-profit organizations, government organizations, schools or private organizations.
William Damon is a psychologist who is a professor at Stanford University and senior fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution. He is one of the world's leading scholars of human development. Damon has done pioneering research on the development of purpose in life and wrote the influential book The Path to Purpose. Damon has helped design innovative developmental methods such as peer learning. Damon also is known for his studies of effective philanthropy. His current work includes a study exploring purpose in higher education and a study of family purpose across generations. Dr. Damon writes on intellectual and social development through the lifespan. Damon has been elected to the National Academy of Education and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Relational aggression, alternative aggression, or relational bullying is a type of aggression in which harm is caused by damaging someone's relationships or social status.
Positive youth development (PYD) programs are designed to optimize youth developmental progress. Youth.gov states that "PYD is an intentional, prosocial approach that engages youth within their communities, schools, organizations, peer groups, and families in a manner that is productive and constructive; recognizes, utilizes, and enhances young people’s strengths; and promotes positive outcomes for young people by providing opportunities, fostering positive relationships, and furnishing the support needed to build on their leadership strengths."
Paul B. Baltes was a German psychologist whose broad scientific agenda was devoted to establishing and promoting the life-span orientation of human development. He was also a theorist in the field of the psychology of aging. He has been described by American Psychologist as one of the most influential developmental psychologists.
A parenting style is a psychological construct representing standard strategies that parents use in their child rearing. The quality of parenting can be more essential than the quantity of time spent with the child. For instance, the parent may be engaging in a different activity and not demonstrating enough interest in the child. Parenting styles are the representation of how parents respond to and make demands on their children. Parenting practices are specific behaviors, while parenting styles represent broader patterns of parenting practices. There are various theories and opinions on the best ways to rear children, as well as differing levels of time and effort that parents are willing to invest.
Positive adult development is a subfield of developmental psychology that studies positive development during adulthood. It is one of four major forms of adult developmental study that can be identified, according to Michael Commons; the other three forms are directionless change, stasis, and decline. Commons divided positive adult developmental processes into at least six areas of study: hierarchical complexity, knowledge, experience, expertise, wisdom, and spirituality.
Sociometric status is a measurement that reflects the degree to which someone is liked or disliked by their peers as a group. While there are some studies that have looked at sociometric status among adults, the measure is primarily used with children and adolescents to make inferences about peer relations and social competence.
Goal orientation, or achievement orientation, is an "individual disposition towards developing or validating one's ability in achievement settings". In general, an individual can be said to be mastery or performance oriented, based on whether one's goal is to develop one's ability or to demonstrate one's ability, respectively. A mastery orientation is also sometimes referred to as a learning orientation.
Social competence consists of social, emotional, cognitive, and behavioral skills needed for successful social adaptation. Social competence also reflects having an ability to take another's perspective concerning a situation, learn from past experiences, and apply that learning to the changes in social interactions.
Melanie Killen is a developmental psychologist and Professor of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology, and Professor of Psychology (Affiliate) at the University of Maryland, and Honorary Professor of Psychology at the University of Kent, Canterbury, UK. She is supported by funding from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), and the National Science Foundation (NSF) for her research. In 2008, she was awarded Distinguished Scholar-Teacher by the Provost's office at the University of Maryland. She is the Director of the Social and Moral Development Lab at the University of Maryland.
Ethnic identity development includes the identity formation in an individual's self-categorization in, and psychological attachment to, (an) ethnic group(s). Ethnic identity is characterized as part of one's overarching self-concept and identification. It is distinct from the development of ethnic group identities.
Richard M. Lerner is professor of Human Development at Tufts University, occupying the Bergstrom Chair in Applied Developmental Science. Also at Tufts, he directs the Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development.
Peter Lorimer Benson (1946–2011) was a psychologist and CEO/President of Search Institute. He pioneered the developmental assets framework, which became the predominant approach to research on positive facets of youth development. According to the American Psychologist,
When [Benson] introduced the developmental assets [approach] in 1989, the predominant approach to youth development was naming youth problems and trying to prevent them. In contrast, the assets approach focused on building strengths. The developmental assets framework became the predominant positive youth development approach in the world, cited more than 17,000 times, and the framework and surveys developed to measure the assets have been used with more than 3 million youths in more than 60 countries.
The adolescent community reinforcement approach (A-CRA) is a behavioral treatment for alcohol and other substance use disorders that helps youth, young adults, and families improve access to interpersonal and environmental reinforcers to reduce or stop substance use.
Adolescent egocentrism is a term that child psychologist David Elkind used to describe the phenomenon of adolescents' inability to distinguish between their perception of what others think about them and what people actually think in reality. Elkind's theory on adolescent egocentrism is drawn from Piaget's theory on cognitive developmental stages, which argues that formal operations enable adolescents to construct imaginary situations and abstract thinking.
Robert L. Selman is an American-born educational psychologist and perspective-taking theorist who specializes in adolescent social development. He is currently a professor of Education and Human Development at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and a professor of psychology in Medicine at Harvard University. He is also known as the author of the 1980s G.I. Joe public service announcements.
Social emotional development represents a specific domain of child development. It is a gradual, integrative process through which children acquire the capacity to understand, experience, express, and manage emotions and to develop meaningful relationships with others. As such, social emotional development encompasses a large range of skills and constructs, including, but not limited to: self-awareness, joint attention, play, theory of mind, self-esteem, emotion regulation, friendships, and identity development.