University Library System, University of Pittsburgh
Reviewed by: Cheryl LaGuardia, Research Librarian, Widener Library, Harvard University
The Journal of Youth Development
) is the official journal of two large professional associations of those who work “with and on behalf of young people” -- the National Association of Extension 4-H Agents (NAE4-HA; “NAE4-HA is one of the largest professional associations for youth development workers with a diverse membership of nearly 4,200 youth development professionals”) and the National Afterschool Association (NAA; whose mission is “to foster development, provide education, and encourage advocacy for the out-of-school-time community”). The journal is “dedicated to advancing youth development practice and research… serv[ing] applied researchers and evaluators as well as practitioners who work in youth-serving organizations or the intermediaries that support them.”
Published three to four times a year online, JYD
typically includes an assortment of four types of material in each issue: Feature Articles of 2000 to 5000 words that are “informational, explanatory, or critical analysis and interpretation of major trends or comprehensive reviews… [with] clear implications for youth development practice and programming and may be grounded in original research or new research from the relevant disciplines”; Program Articles of 1500 to 4000 words “discuss[ing] programs and outcomes or describ[ing] promising programs and pilot projects that have clear implications for youth development research, practice, and programming. These programs and projects are grounded with a strong research-based or theoretical framework”; Research and Evaluation Strategies of 1500 to 4000 words “describ[ing] innovative methodologies and strategies in the collection and analysis of quantitative or qualitative research and evaluation data”; and Resource Reviews of 300 to 800 words “provid[ing] critical analysis of books, curricula, videos and other tools that may be helpful to youth development professionals.” The journal is searchable by authors, title, abstract, index terms, and full text, and browsable by issue, author, or title.
The first three articles in the most recent issue are about subjects I wasn’t surprised to see here: “From Theory to Practice: A Critical Review of Positive Youth Development Program Frameworks,” “Empowering Processes of a Countywide Arts Intervention for High School Youth,” and “Seeing the Growth: Strengthening Teacher Connectedness Through Outward Bound Excursions.” They discussed programs in Oregon, California, Bergen County New Jersey, and the Chesapeake Bay area. The fourth article was an eye-opener for me, because of the location of the case study. The article was, “Creating Community Capacity through Youth Empowerment: A Case Study of Rural Nicaragua.” Before seeing this article I had always thought 4-H was a wholly American-based organization, but upon looking a bit further (Wikipedia
first, then the official 4-H site) I learned that “Throughout the world, 4-H organizations exist in over 50 countries,” and “4‑H reaches 7 million young people in more than 50 countries.” Who knew? I learn a lot doing these reviews.
The previous issue held a number of Feature articles written around the theme of Practitioner Inquiry, with such titles as “Building Blocks of Professionalism: Values, Principles, and Ethics in Youth Work,” “Will I be Able to Understand My Mentee? Examining the Potential Risk of the Dominant Culture Mentoring Marginalized Youth,” “Beyond Evidence-Based Interventions for Teen Pregnancy Prevention,” and “White Schools, Diverse Populations: A Look at the North Star State.” Authors include academicians, practitioners, and government and other agency workers, and the material is articulate, well-documented, and accessible. As the official journal of the NAE4-HA and the NAA JYD
is likely reaching much of its target audience, but this will be an excellent title to which librarians will want to refer anyone considering entering fields working with youth.
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