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  • 1. Chen, Bin-Bin
    et al.
    Wiium, Nora
    Dimitrova, Radosveta
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Personality, Social and Developmental Psychology.
    A Life History Approach to Understanding Developmental Assets Among Chinese Adolescents2019In: Child and Youth Care Forum, ISSN 1053-1890, E-ISSN 1573-3319, Vol. 48, no 2, p. 155-169Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Life history theory provides a unifying perspective on understanding human behaviors as adaptive strategies in response to particular environmental conditions. There is little empirical literature on the relationships between life history strategies and positive youth development.

    Objective: This study examines the relationships between environmental certainty, life history strategies and external and internal developmental assets among adolescents.

    Methods: Participants were 577 adolescents (53.5% boys) from Shanghai, China. Data on environmental certainty, life history strategies and developmental assets were collected from adolescents’ self-reports.

    Results: Adolescents with a slower life strategy reported higher levels of both external and internal assets. Furthermore, perceptions of environmental certainty were associated with both external and internal assets through a slower life history strategy.

    Conclusions: Developmental assets may be a part of or the result of the slow life history strategy in response to certain environments. This pattern also complements and expands previous findings linking life history strategy and negative adolescent development. The present study suggests profitable avenues of study in the areas of social environments and positive youth development.

  • 2. Crocetti, Elisabetta
    et al.
    Hale, William W., III
    Dimitrova, Radosveta
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Abubakar, Amina
    Gao, Cheng-Hai
    Agaloos Pesigan, Ivan Jacob
    Generalized Anxiety Symptoms and Identity Processes in Cross-Cultural Samples of Adolescents from the General Population2015In: Child and Youth Care Forum, ISSN 1053-1890, E-ISSN 1573-3319, Vol. 44, no 2, p. 159-174Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Approximately 20 % of adolescents around the world experience mental health problems, most commonly depression or anxiety. High levels of anxiety disorder symptoms can hinder adolescent development, persist into adulthood, and predict negative mental outcomes, such as suicidal ideation and attempts. We analyzed generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) symptoms in cross-cultural samples from the general population. We sought to examine cultural and gender differences, and correlates of GAD symptoms in samples of adolescents from six countries located in three different continents (Europe: Bulgaria, Italy, the Netherlands; Africa: Kenya; Asia: China and Philippines). Participants were 3,445 (51 % male) adolescents aged between 14 and 18 years old. They filled self-report measures of GAD symptoms and identity. First, it was found that the scores on GAD symptoms varied significantly across countries, with Dutch respondents reporting the lowest levels whereas Filipino participants exhibited the highest levels of GAD symptoms. Second, gender differences (i.e., girls reported more GAD symptoms than boys) were significant in each country (as well as in the total sample), with the only exception being that of Kenya. Third, GAD symptoms were significantly related to identity processes and similarities and differences across countries were examined. This study highlighted that prevalence, gender differences, and correlates of GAD vary across countries. Therefore, it is important when researching GAD symptoms to examine one's research findings within a global perspective.

  • 3. Eichas, Kyle
    et al.
    Ferrer-Wreder, Laura
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Personality, Social and Developmental Psychology.
    Olsson, Tina M.
    Contributions of Positive Youth Development to Intervention Science2019In: Child and Youth Care Forum, ISSN 1053-1890, E-ISSN 1573-3319, Vol. 48, no 2, p. 279-287Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Advances in knowledge of how to promote positive youth development (PYD) have significant potential to enrich intervention science. As part of a broader movement in the direction of a more fully integrated intervention science, PYD intervention research can provide practitioners in youth behavioral and mental health with an updated set of intervention tools beyond problem-focused strategies for reducing or preventing dysfunction.

    Objective: The objective of this commentary is to highlight potential contributions of PYD research to the development of more complete models of youth intervention, as well as to identify directions for future PYD intervention research.

    Method: This commentary discusses and expands on findings from the present articles that contribute to an empirical foundation for connecting PYD promotion with the science and practice of treatment and prevention.

    Results: The findings point to practical advantages that result from understanding the empirical links among PYD, treatment, and prevention on the way to achieving a more fully integrated intervention science, as well as methodological challenges involved in pursuing this agenda.

    Conclusions: In this context, the next generation of intervention science will be driven by integrating PYD’s contextual, cultural, relational, global, and participatory values into the science of building and testing youth interventions.

  • 4.
    Ferrer-Wreder, Laura
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Adamson, Lena
    Kumpfer, Karol L.
    Eichas, Kyle
    Advancing Intervention Science Through Effectiveness Research: A Global Perspective2012In: Child and Youth Care Forum, ISSN 1053-1890, E-ISSN 1573-3319, Vol. 41, no 2, p. 109-117Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Effectiveness research is maturing as a field within intervention and prevention science. Effectiveness research involves the implementation and evaluation of the effectiveness of the dissemination of evidence-based interventions in everyday circumstances (i.e., type 2 translational research). Effectiveness research is characterized by diverse types of research studies. Progress in this field has the potential to inform several debates within intervention science [e.g., fidelity versus local and cultural adaptation; identification of core components, effective dissemination systems). Objective: To provide illustrations from different countries (Ireland, Italy, South Africa, Sweden, New Zealand, and the United States) of how intervention science might raise the value of future effectiveness or type 2 translational research. Methods: Themes raised by individual articles and across articles are summarized and expanded on in this commentary. Results: Themes consist of raising awareness about the importance of effectiveness research on the cultural adaptation of evidence-based interventions and intervention support structures, as well as further development of strategies to bridge the gap between research and practice. Conclusions: Effectiveness research has an important role to play in affecting systemic change on a population level and allowing us to gain a realistic global understanding of the phenomena we hope to change through interventions. Articles in this special issue provide reports from social scientists and practitioners located in various parts of the world and offer a rich, diverse portrait of effectiveness research and theory development. The totality of the work contained in this special issue anticipates many of the changes that intervention and prevention science will undergo as we progress and develop effective dissemination strategies for evidence-based interventions that promote positive youth development and prevent youth and family problems on a global scale.

  • 5.
    Ferrer-Wreder, Laura
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Sundell, Knut
    Mansoory, Shahram
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Tinkering with Perfection: Theory Development in the Intervention Cultural Adaptation Field2012In: Child and Youth Care Forum, ISSN 1053-1890, E-ISSN 1573-3319, Vol. 41, no 2, p. 149-171Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background Testing evidence-based interventions (EBIs) outside of their home countryhas become increasingly commonplace. There is a need for theoretically guided researchon how to best create and test the effects of culturally adapted interventions.

    Objective To illustrate how the field might raise the scientific and practical value offuture effectiveness and dissemination trials of culturally adapted interventions, as well asto provide support for theoretically informed research on this subject to take greater root.

    Methods Nine theories that offer guidance on how to adapt existing EBIs for a newcultural group were summarized and evaluated.

    Results Commonalities among the selected theories included a focus on the need forcollaboration as part of the adaptation process and shared emphasis on taking systematicsteps to select an intervention to adapt, as well as calls for adaptations to be guided byspecific types of empirical studies. Among the theories, variability existed in terms of whatconstituted an adaptation.

    Conclusions As EBIs go global, intervention adaptation promises to be the subject ofsubstantial future scholarly attention. There is a need to develop systematic evidence-basedmethods that allow for some degree of adaptation, while still bringing about EBIs’ desiredbenefits.

  • 6.
    Mansoory, Shahram
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Child and Youth Studies.
    Ferrer-Wreder, Laura
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Trost, Kari
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Child and Youth Studies.
    Youth Well-Being Contextualized: Perceptions of Swedish Fathers2019In: Child and Youth Care Forum, ISSN 1053-1890, E-ISSN 1573-3319Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Fathers can have a critical role to play in supporting the well-being of youth. However, little is known about how fathers perceive youth well-being. The Five Cs model of positive youth development was the theoretical starting point of this study, in part due to this framework’s focus on the importance of bi-directional, person–context relations (Geldhof et al., in: Molenaar, Lerner, Newell (eds) Handbook of developmental systems theory and methodology, Guilford Press, New York, 2014). Questions posed in the present study were derived from the 4-H study of positive youth development (Lerner et al. in J Early Adolesc 25(1):17–71, 2005), which is rooted in the Five Cs model.

    Objective: The present study explored themes and patterns of meaning in descriptive information from fathers about youth well-being.

    Method: An inductive–deductive approach to thematic analysis was used to examine responses to open-ended survey questions from 201 Swedish fathers regarding youth well-being.

    Results: Based on the fathers’ reports four themes were identified: cognitive well-being, emotional and psychological well-being, physical well-being, and social well-being. While some sub-components of these themes have been identified in earlier literature, new sub-components were also found in each domain of youth well-being (i.e., cognitive, emotional/psychological, physical, social).

    Conclusions: These findings suggest that the understanding of youth well-being is contextual and multi-faceted, and that fathers’ perceptions can be important to consider in future research as they may further our insight into the rich and nuanced characteristics of positive youth development in diverse contexts.

  • 7.
    Sedem, Mina
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Ferrer-Wreder, Laura
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Fear of the loss of honor: implications of honor-based violence for the development of youth and their families2015In: Child and Youth Care Forum, ISSN 1053-1890, E-ISSN 1573-3319, Vol. 44, p. 225-237Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background

    Violence committed against young women, and in some cases young men, who are considered to have violated honor-based norms are reported in several countries, making honor-based violence (HBV) a global concern. This article is an overview of research in this area and summarizes key findings from a Swedish program of research dedicated to this subject.

    Objective

    To gain deeper understanding of HBV from the perspective of participating families, as well as to situate these study findings in the wider literature.

    Methods

    The studies reported here were based on qualitative interviews with adolescent girls and young women with immigrant backgrounds and their family members (N = 23) who experienced honor-based conflicts and/or violence—in one case resulting in homicide. Interviews were primarily conducted once in the general study, however, in some cases interviews were conducted on more than one occasion. Interviews were analyzed according to grounded theory.

    Results

    The inductive approach used in these studies was useful and study findings were nuanced. Results indicated, for example, that fear was essential to understanding the genesis and progression of the conflicts within participating families.

    Conclusions

    Practitioners should attend to building trust with families and ameliorating isolation, as well as early-stage awareness raising, education, the promotion of contextually relevant conflict resolution skills. Systematic intervention development is also likely to advance this field.

  • 8.
    Smedler, Ann-Charlotte
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Hjern, Anders
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Health Equity Studies (CHESS). Karolinska Institutet, Sweden.
    Wiklund, Stefan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Anttila, Sten
    Pettersson, Agneta
    Programs for prevention of externalizing problems in children: limited evidence for effect beyond 6 Months post intervention2015In: Child and Youth Care Forum, ISSN 1053-1890, E-ISSN 1573-3319, Vol. 44, no 2, p. 251-276Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Preventing externalizing problems in children is a major societal concern, and a great number of intervention programs have been developed to this aim. To evaluate their preventive effects, well-controlled trials including follow-up assessments are necessary.

    Methods: This is a systematic review of the effect of prevention programs targeting externalizing problems in children. The review covered peer reviewed publications in English, German, French, Spanish and Scandinavian languages. Experimental studies of standardized programs explicitly aiming at preventing externalizing mental ill-health in children (2–19 years), with outcome assessments at ≥6 months post intervention for both intervention and control groups, were included. We also included long-term trials with consecutive observations over several years, even in the absence of follow-up ≥6 months post intervention. Studies of clinical populations or children with impairments, which substantially increase the risk for mental disorders, were excluded.

    Results: Thirty-eight controlled trials assessing 25 different programs met inclusion criteria. Only five programs were supported by scientific evidence, representing selective parent training (Incredible Years and Triple-P), indicated family support (Family Check-Up), and school-based programs (Good Behavior Game, universally delivered, and Coping Power, as an indicated intervention). With few exceptions, effects after 6–12 months were small. Long-term trials showed small and inconsistent effects.

    Conclusions: Despite a vast literature, the evidence for preventive effects is meager, largely due to insufficient follow-up post intervention. Long-term follow up assessment and effectiveness studies should be given priority in future evaluations of interventions to prevent externalizing problems in children.

  • 9. Wiium, Nora
    et al.
    Dimitrova, Radosveta
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology. University of Bergen, Norway.
    Positive Youth Development Across Cultures: Introduction to the Special Issue2019In: Child and Youth Care Forum, ISSN 1053-1890, E-ISSN 1573-3319, Vol. 48, no 2, p. 147-153Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background Promoting well-being of young people within the positive youth development (PYD) framework has been found to be promising. The basic models of PYD—the 5C’s (competence, confidence, character, connection, and caring) and developmental assets (significant relationships, skills, opportunities and values that promote thriving exemplified by external assets or environmental resources and internal assets or interpersonal strengths), have been largely shown to promote positive aspects of development among diverse samples of young people. However, PYD research has mainly been conducted within the US context.

    Objectives Explore the generalizability of the PYD framework to understand and promote positive aspects of development in young people beyond the US context.

    Method Six papers using cross-sectional methods reported data on adolescents and/or emerging adults (N = 6820) with diverse cultural backgrounds from ten countries (Brazil, China, El Salvador, Ghana, Italy, Kenya, Norway, Slovenia, South-Africa, Turkey) in four continents (Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America). Widely applied PYD scales developed within the US and adequately adapted in each cultural context were used for data collection.

    Results The generalizability of the PYD framework (the presence and positive relations between the 5Cs and developmental assets in promoting optimal development) was largely confirmed among culturally diverse samples of young people investigated in the papers.

    Conclusion While the findings of the current special issue extend the generalizability of the PYD framework beyond the US context, more research is needed to ascertain appropriate developmental assets to facilitate PYD, as defined by the specific context where young people are embedded.

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