Measuring the Positives: Review of Positive Indicators and Guidelines for their Use

This “classic” series provides foundational knowledge, historical background and practical suggestions to guide incorporation of positive measures into adolescent health assessments. NAHIC conducted a comprehensive analysis of positive youth development approaches and measures, leading to the three papers, based on work supported by the W.T. Grant Foundation.

The first paper, Developing a Conceptual Model to Select Indicators for the Assessment of Adolescent Health and Well-Being:

  • Provides historical context on health indicators focused on adolescent health;
  • Reviews efforts to monitor the health and well-being of adolescents and their families, including limitations of those efforts; and
  • Presents a new framework to guide adolescent health assessment that incorporates positive youth development and community contexts.

The second paper, Assessing the ‘Multiple Processes’ of Adolescent Health: Youth Development Approaches:

  • Describes and compares the most well-studied and articulated conceptual frameworks for positive adolescent development and behavior that have informed new assessment tools and indicators;
  • Reviews and synthesizes the evidence for and scientific validity of positive adolescent health indicators;
  • Offers recommendations for the most promising approaches to implement comprehensive assessments.

The third paper, Bridging the Gap: Next Steps in Developing and Using Indicators to Improve Adolescent Health, proposes a framework for future efforts in the field and the development of a more comprehensive set of indicators.

Finally, these three papers are summarized in one brief: Beyond Indicators: From Risk Assessment to Practical Strategies for Promoting Adolescent Health and well-being.