Emotion Regulation and Positive Youth Development
Positive youth development refers to a strengths-based approach to understanding and nurturing healthy functioning in youth.2, 3 Through a positive youth development approach, youth programs offer activities that provide opportunities for youth to learn new skills and make meaningful connections with their peers and staff.4
There are eight features considered essential for a high-quality youth program: (1) physical and psychological safety; (2) appropriate structure; (3) supportive relationships; (4) opportunities to belong; (5) positive social norms; (6) support for efficacy and mattering; (7) opportunities for skill building; and (8) integration of family, school, and community efforts.62 Understanding and supporting healthy emotion regulation strategies will support all eight of these elements. Youth program staff, using a positive youth development approach, can help youth to manage and redirect their expressions of negative or destructive emotions as they learn new skills and learn to become successful adults. Supporting youth in learning to manage their emotions can help to create a program that is safe and enjoyable for all.
To help youth program staff manage youth’s behavior and foster positive adult-youth relationships, this training will focus on developing an understanding of emotion regulation and coaching strategies by raising awareness of staff’s own emotion regulation techniques, as well as constructive ways for youth program staff to respond to youth’s emotions.