While Comprehensive Community Initiatives (CCIs) provide promising avenues to support the positive development of all young people, research findings assessing the relation between CCIs and community-level child and youth outcomes have been mixed. Although there are exceptions, few evaluations on the impact of CCIs on positive youth development have been conducted. In this edited collection, the authors draw on the field of developmental science to provide a basis for why CCIs are a powerful tool for providing all young people with opportunities to thrive. The collection begins with a brief history of CCIs and their impacts to illustrate why a developmental framework is needed, followed by a discussion of the editors’ proposed framework. Each chapter that follows offers some of the most rigorous research and extant knowledge of CCIs. In the final chapter, the editors provide recommendations for future research that can systematically explore the impact of CCIs, better indicating their effectiveness and offering proven strategies that can be implemented in varying contexts. Altogether, this collection offers researchers and practitioners in the field a means by which to better incorporate theory into the vision and practices of CCIs and, as such, the tools to better measure the outcomes of the CCIs.
Table of Contents
1. Comprehensive Community Initiatives Creating Supportive Youth Systems: A Theoretical Rationale for Creating Youth-Focused CCIs Jonathan F. Zaff, Alice E. Donlan, Elizabeth Pufall Jones, Emily S. Lin, and Sara Anderson 2. The Role of Community: Why Place Is Important to Comprehensive Community Initiatives Sara Anderson, Margaret Elliott, and Tama Leventhal 3. The Importance of Alignment across Levels of a Community Elizabeth Pufall Jones, Jonathan F. Zaff, Katie Aasland, and Emily S. Lin 4. Using Data to Guide Planning and Action Amy Gerstein, Emily Lin, and Elana McDermott 5. Bringing Together Schools and The Community: The Case of Say Yes To Education David Osher and Eugene Chasin 6. Supportive Relationships with and Among Adolescents As Fundamental Building Blocks of CCI Success Alice E. Donlan, Aaron L. Gunning,, and Kathryn R. Wentzel 7. Youth as Part of the Solution: Youth Engagement as a Core Strategy of Comprehensive Community Initiatives Jodi Benenson, Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg, Peter Levine, and Felicia M. Sullivan 8. From Collaboration, To Action, To Implementation, To Impact, To Scale: Putting All of the Pieces of a Comprehensive Community Initiative Together Brian K. Bumbarger 9. Do We Know Enough To Act? Effecting Community Change through Comprehensive Community Initiatives Jonathan F. Zaff, Jennifer Elise Prescott, Emily S. Lin, Elizabeth Pufall Jones, and Sara Anderson
Jonathan F. Zaff, Ph.D., is the Executive Director of the Center for Promise, the research institute of America’s Promise Alliance housed at Boston University’s School of Education. He leads research initiatives that examine how to create the conditions so that all youth can thrive academically, socially, and civically.
Elizabeth Pufall Jones, Ph.D., is a Qualitative Research Scientist at the Center for Promise at Boston University’s School of Education. Her research focuses on the processes and contexts associated with a multicultural individual’s navigation and negotiation of the multiple cultural worlds in which they live.
Alice E. Donlan, Ph.D., is a Quantitative Research Scientist for the Center for Promise. Her research focuses on adolescent social development and peer influences in school, with the goal of understanding how supportive relationships are built, and how those relationships promote positive youth development.
Sara Anderson, Ph.D., is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for Research on Children in the U.S. at Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy. She is the lead analyst on the long-term follow up of the Tulsa pre-K study. Her research interests include pre-K, residential mobility, and neighborhood effects.
'Comprehensive Community Initiatives for Positive Youth Development brings together ways of thinking (theory), ways of discovering (research), and ways of doing (taking action through programs and policies) to pivot on the intersections of youth’s lives and the community contexts that surround them. Researchers, theorists, and professionals engaged in prevention and intervention will benefit from this systematic and research-informed focus on how the future of communities and their youth benefits from the CCI approach.' – Jay A. Mancini, Ph.D., Haltiwanger Distinguished Professor of Human Development and Family Science, The University of Georgia
'A wide-ranging and provocative examination of the theory and practice of community-level mobilization for Positive Youth Development. The authors use both wide-lens reviews of history and current research, and close-up portraits of Comprehensive Community Initiatives, to show the powerful results possible when visions and plans for PYD are aligned throughout the multiple levels of community ecology.' – Peter C. Scales, Ph.D., Senior Fellow, Search Institute
'Jonathan F. Zaff and his co-editors have pressed the "refresh" key and rebooted the CCI movement with a neatly framed case for a youth-centered approach. With a unique and timely synthesis of the theoretical framework ranging from the essential Bronfenbrenner ecological model to America’s Promise’s "Five Promises," and drawing on developmental assets and developmental settings literature as well as some of the most significant positive youth development thought leadership, the book offers evidence and hope in support of a new youth system.' – Susan P. Curnan, Professor, Brandeis University and Executive Director, Center for Youth and Communities
'[This] is a compelling book that illustrates the potential of community wide efforts... This volume contains a wealth of information and is well-organized... This book is relevant for researchers and practitioners in many fields who are involved in community work. It might also serve as a useful companion text for graduate courses in community psychology, commjnity development, and social work.' - Joseph Durlak, Emeritus Professor Psychology at Loyola University Chicago, PsycCritiques