Young girl

Youth Development

Child Trends brings a multi-disciplinary perspective to its studies of adolescents and young adults and the programs that serve them. We conduct national and local evaluations of after-school and prevention programs (see brief about Abriendo Puertas). These evaluations include not only impact evaluations to examine whether programs are effective, but also implementation evaluations to examine how they work. We work with programs and funders to ensure that programs are ready for evaluation by helping develop logic models, conduct needs assessments, and develop and refine their performance management capacities. A critical part of our work is research to understand and measure adolescent and young adult well-being for national studies and evaluations (for example, the Positive Indicators Project).

We also compile evaluations by researchers from around the world and synthesize these studies to identify effective (and ineffective) programs and practices. The information is widely disseminated in clear language via research briefs, policy briefings, webinars and through technical assistance to practitioners and local communities.

Featured Projects

Featured Publications

The Developing Brain: Implications for Youth Programs

May 2015 | Child Trends

The brain, with more than 100 billion neurons, is our body’s most complex organ. There is increasing global attention to the growing field of brain research, but what are we learning today that may inform programs that serve children? How do environment and life experiences impact brain development? What can be done to mitigate the negative effects of trauma on the brain?

Download PDF

J.C. Nalle Community School: A Study of a School Turnaround Effort - Executive Summary

Apr 2015 | Zakia Redd; Daniel Princiotta; Brandon Stratford; Selma Caal; Weilin Li

J.C. Nalle is a public elementary school in one of the District’s poorest neighborhoods. The school is also the first D.C. public “community school,” working with local organizations to address students’ non-academic needs. Child Trends took an independent look at whether test scores were improving for students at J.C. Nalle, and if they were, to see what had contributed to this feat.

Download PDF

Preventing Violence: Understanding and Addressing Determinants of Youth Violence in the United States

Mar 2015 | Kristin Anderson Moore; Brandon Stratford; Selma Caal; Carl Hanson; Shelby Hickman; Deborah Temkin; Hannah Schmitz; Joy Thompson; Susannah Horton; Alyssa Shaw

Rates of all types of violence have dropped in the U.S., but are high compared with other developed countries—and the numbers of children and youth affected are high. In this brief, and the report it’s based on, we review risk and protective factors for violence, and suggest opportunities for reducing it.

Download PDF

Preventing Violence: A Review of Research, Evaluation, Gaps, and Opportunities

Feb 2015 | Kristin Anderson Moore; Brandon Stratford; Selma Caal; Carl Hanson; Shelby Hickman; Deborah Temkin; Hannah Schmitz; Joy Thompson; Susannah Horton; Alyssa Shaw

Rates of all types of violence have dropped in the U.S., but are high compared with other developed countries—and the numbers of children and youth affected are high. In this report, we review risk and protective factors for violence, and suggest opportunities for reducing it.

Download PDF

Meet Our Experts

Get the latest research about children and youth from our weekly enews.
Yes, please!
t