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Washington State University

Positive Youth Development

Positive youth development, or PYD, is focused on promoting the assets or strengths of adolescents. Our lab views adolescent development from a prevention science and positive youth development perspective – meaning we look at both risk and protective factors related to health. A PYD framework is used in multiple ways from researching association of PYD outcomes with adolescent behavior (e.g., romantic relationships, substance use) to running programming  with Extension partners.

Research questions currently being addressed include:

  • How is PYD associated with romantic socialization?
  • How do 4-H teen leadership programs serve to promote PYD?
  • What are teens experiences in participatory action research?
  • How can we build capacity among Extension professionals to promote PYD using evidence-based programs?

Teens participating in a leadership training activity.

Youth Advocates for Health (YA4-H!)

Check out the WSU YA4-H! page here:

Related Publications

  • Weybright, E., White, A., Greer, M., Fees, J., & Watters, C. (2023). Youth engagement resource guide. Washington State University Extension.
  • Iniguez, A., Doering, E. L., & Weybright, E. H. (2023). Maximizing dietary knowledge and behavior through a teens as teachers approach. Journal of Extension, 61(3).
  • Lile, J. R., Weybright, E. H., & Watson, P. (2021). Using the 4-H Essential Elements to evaluate teen programming. Journal of Youth Development, 16(1), 55-73. Retrieved from:
  • Beckmeyer, J. J. & Weybright, E. (2020). Exploring the association between middle adolescents’ romantic activity and their positive youth development. Journal of Adolescence, 80, 214-219.
  • White, A., Scanga, L. H., & Weybright, E. (2017). Connecting the dots: Positive youth development framework and the Essential Elements of 4-H (FS261E). Washington State University Extension. Retrieved from
  • Weybright, E. H., Trauntvein, N., & Deen, M. (2017). “It was like we were all equal”: Maximizing youth development using youth-adult partnerships [Special Issue]. Journal of Park and Recreation Administration, 35(1), 5-19. doi:10.18666/JPRA-2017-V35-I1-7246
  • Weybright, E. H., Hrncirik, L., White, A., Cummins, M., Deen, M., & Calodich, S. (2016). “I felt really respected and I know she felt respected too”: Using youth-adult partnerships to promote positive youth development in 4-H youth. Journal of Human Sciences and Extension, 4(3), 93-110.
  • Wallace, M., Weybright, E., Rohner, B., & Crawford, J. (2015). Parental over-involvement and competition in youth development programs (FS179E). Pullman, WA: Washington State University Extension. Retrieved from