Positive youth development could be an effective framework for designing general interventions for young offenders. Such a framework would encourage youth justice systems to focus on protective factors and risk factors, strengths, problems, and broader efforts to facilitate successful transitions to adulthood for justice-involved youth. The positive youth development approach supports youth in successfully transitioning from adolescence to early adulthood by encouraging young people to develop useful skills and competencies and build stronger connections with pro-social peers, families, and communities (Butts, Mayer, & Ruth, & Ruth, 2005). Young people engaged with trustworthy adults and peers to pursue meaningful activities and acquire new skills are more likely to build the developmental assets needed for a positive adulthood. These assets include physical and psychological safety; age-appropriate and meaningful relationships; opportunities to belong; positive social norms; self-efficacy; opportunities for skill-building and collective recognition; and the integration of family, school, and community resources (Gardner, Roth, & Brooks-Gunn, 2008).
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