Problem Behavior and Positive Youth Development Program Overview

The Problem Behavior and Positive Youth Development Program is an interdisciplinary research effort seeking to understand the nature, course of development, and later life consequences of behaviors that put young people's health and development at risk. Research in the Program has focused on delinquency, illicit drug use, alcohol abuse, cigarette smoking, precocious sexual activity, school failure and drop out, violence and aggression, risky driving, running away, health-compromising behaviors such as insufficient exercise and unhealthy diet, evaluation and dissemination of violence, drug, and delinquency programs, and mental health problems such as depression. Research on these issues is enhanced by the type of interdisciplinary approach the Program promotes. It is the oldest of the five research programs at IBS and has the largest portfolio, both in numbers of grants and funding. In 2012, the Program expanded its focus to also include studying the factors that promote positive youth development. The Problem Behavior and Positive Youth Development Program continues to be recognized as one of the strongest interdisciplinary research efforts on problem behavior in the United States and internationally.