Research into Action: Prevention Programs for Youth at Risk

Article excerpt

Overview

Youth at risk is a growing population. National organizations have focused on the development of prevention programs, or programs that seek to change behaviors that threaten the ability of youth to develop into healthy, productive adults (Satcher, 2001).

Recreation has also addressed this social issue by implementing programs that target youth from getting into trouble. While the literature shows that park and recreation departments have facilitated positive outcomes for youth, more research is needed to understand how best to provide prevention programs for youth at risk.

Impact

Recreation has great potential for combating the growing number of youth at risk, and to provide valuable services to keep youth from getting into, or further into, trouble. Emphasis on prevention programs also places recreation directly in line with our nation's agenda, Healthy People 2010.

Research Application Ideas

Some specific ideas for recreation programmers and researchers include:

* Hire staff with expertise in youth development and youth at risk, and/or train existing staff who work with youth at risk. Successful outcomes require staff to have competencies that will help design and implement goal-oriented prevention programs that address the risk levels of youth. …