This comprehensive report provides a clear framework and evidence for understanding what young people need to develop from preschool to young adulthood, to succeed in college and career, have healthy relationships, be engaged citizens, and make wise choices. It’s a rich primer for anyone interested in more deeply understanding young people’s developmental needs.
The report offers evidence to show how, where, and when the “key factors” to success develop from early childhood through young adulthood, emphasizing the kinds of experiences and supportive relationships that guide the positive development of these factors. It concludes that rich experiences combining action and reflection help children develop a set of critical skills, attitudes, and behaviors. And it suggests that policies should aim to ensure that all children have consistent, supportive relationships and an abundance of these developmental experiences through activities inside and outside of school.
Recognizing that there are no silver bullets to promoting social-emotional learning, the report emphasizes a range of factors that build on one another over time. It also emphasizes factors that are particularly malleable, as well as the age at which each of the key factors comes into prominence, offering adults the most promising window for positive intervention.
A key problem the report identifies is that disadvantaged youth often face extra challenges. For example, they often have fewer in-school and out-of-school opportunities for consistent, positive developmental experiences and relationships and face significant opportunity gaps to developing the essential skills to become productive adults.
Read the full report about young adult success at UChicago Consortium on School Research.