NUMBER 1158 • 16 APRIL • respectful evvironments
Adults in every school and community bear responsibility for building environments in which children and adolescents can thrive and grow. Peter Benson calls this the youth development infrastructure. But in virtually any community, a typical youth receives less than half of the developmental assets associated with healthy outcomes. Ironically, troubled youth most needing positive support are being discarded.
While there is much discussion about positive adolescent development, this concept has not been clearly defined. A promising approach to positive youth development is the CCDO resilience model first described by John Seita, Martin Mitchell, and Christi Tobin. Healthy outcomes result from environments that provide connections, continuity, dignity, and opportunity. Here we define CCDO and give examples of the presence and absence of these crucial factors.
- Connections: Support and guidance through strong, positive relationships.
Without at least one person who cares, youth cannot develop full potential.
- Continuity: Events and pathways that shape one's life story.
Some young people are locked in patterns of failure and broken relationships.
- Dignity: The development of self-worth in a climate of respect.
There is no dignity in residing in environments of despair and gloom.
- Opportunity: Positive environments that foster growth and change.
Without external support, inner strength, and positive goals, youth cannot thrive.
CCDO applies to a full range of settings including education, juvenile justice, treatment, and family and community-based youth development. These principles are relevant in childhood, adolescence, and the transition to adulthood.
LARRY BRENDTRO, ARLIN NESS and MARTIN MITCHELL
Brendtro,L., Ness. A. and Mitchell, M. (2001) No Disposable Kids. Longmont: Sopris West