Bridging the Gap

K. Pittman
January 1, 1991

This paper was commissioned by the Carnegie Council on Adolescent Development to respond to two specific tasks—the creation of a definition of youth development based on a review of existing definitions and theories, and making the case for strengthening the role of the non-school voluntary sector in promoting positive youth development. The paper addresses recurring themes in the youth development literature, such as concern about young peoples’ development of necessary competencies, as well as the failure of existing supports and opportunities to meet the fundamental needs of adolescents. The authors emphasize the need for the term “youth development” to refer not only to institutions that serve them, but to young people themselves.