Portrait of a Thriving Youth


Portrait of a Thriving Youth

2 months ago 2 months ago Published by
This infographic was created by Youth-Nex.


Drawing on 40 years of interdisciplinary research about the science of adolescence, the Portrait of a Thriving Youth describes what optimal development looks like during this important period of development. As such it aims to build a collective and broadly understood vision of what a thriving youth might be and do, as individuals and as part of their communities. It depicts what optimal youth development looks like during the period of adolescence when the supports, structures, and systems are in place to promote thriving.

The Portrait provides a common framework that can be used by both adults and youth themselves to advocate for what every young person has a right to access and experience:

  • Adult practitioners, including educators and youth workers, can use the Portrait to reflect on how their organizational and developmental practices are supporting, or inhibiting, thriving.
  • Policymakers can use the Portrait to inform decisions they make that affect adolescents.
  • Caregivers and youth can use the Portrait to advocate for the supports, services, and settings that research tells us supports thriving.

Check out the full report.

Youth-Nex. (2023). Portrait of a Thriving Youth. University of Virginia School of Education and Human Development.

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