PROMOTING THE HEALTHY DEVELOPMENT OF YOUNG PEOPLE
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The overall purpose of this study is to describe the ways in which one school contributes to the healthy development of its students by providing an account of external developmental assets from the perspective of students and key staff informants. Specific goals of this study are: (a) to identify the principles and programs as well as the human and ancillary resources at one school whose explicit mission is to embed contexts and courses that contribute positively to the healthy development of young people; and (b) to compare perceptions among stakeholders about the external developmental assets of the school. This study gives voice to students and professionals to describe the extent to which they believe that a school‘s vision, program, and resources can impact the healthy development of young people. Researchers and theorists have encouraged academics to pursue qualitative research as an important step in elucidating the meaning of developmental assets in programs for young people, particularly in schools (Mahoney, Lafferty, & Nutter, 2003; Thurber, Scanlin, Scheuler, & Henderson, 2007; Scales et al., 2000), because, to date, developmental assets research has primarily focused on a quantitative inventory to assess youth resiliency and the efficacy of risk prevention programs. This case study contributes to the growing body of Canadian research on healthy youth development. The perceptions and ideas of participants could add to further understanding about healthy youth development, developmental assets, and the needs of learners in other educational settings.