Cover: Positive Youth Development in a School-Based Setting

Positive Youth Development in a School-Based Setting

A Study of the Los Angeles Police Academy Magnet School Program

Published Feb 18, 2015

by Shannon Maloney

Download eBook for Free

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 3.4 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.

Positive youth development (PYD) orients youth toward pro-social and forward-looking behavior through programs that emphasize youth empowerment and involvement, focus on skill development and character building, incorporate community collaboration at multiple levels, and include positive adult role models and mentors that interact with youth in meaningful ways. Research has shown that youth exposed to programs with these features are more likely to demonstrate traits associated with development along a positive life trajectory, represented by a life free from substance abuse and violence and rich with meaningful relationships, a healthy sense of self, satisfying career, and clear ties to one's larger community.

This report expands on the current research into PYD programs and youth outcomes by examining PYD features in a public school setting. An existing program, the Los Angeles Police Academy Magnet School Program (LAPAMS), serves as a case study to examine the extent to which PYD features are incorporated in this particular mode of delivery. Specific program features, such as including law enforcement officers as key program mentors and extending the program across several years, may provide insights into how PYD approaches can be utilized by non-traditional community agents to reach youth in new ways. The report explores how law enforcement officer attributes, length of exposure to LAPAMS programming, and early exposure to LAPAMS programming relate to a set of youth outcomes.

Research conducted by

This document was submitted as a dissertation in September 2014 in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the doctoral degree in public policy analysis at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. The faculty committee that supervised and approved the dissertation consisted of Gery Ryan (Chair), Joie Acosta, and Anita Chandra.

This publication is part of the RAND dissertation series. Pardee RAND dissertations are produced by graduate fellows of the Pardee RAND Graduate School, the world's leading producer of Ph.D.'s in policy analysis. The dissertations are supervised, reviewed, and approved by a Pardee RAND faculty committee overseeing each dissertation.

This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit

RAND is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.