Center for Positive Youth Development (CPYD)

"Center for Positive Youth Development logo"

The Center for Positive Youth Development (CPYD) is a research and practice focused center investigating positive youth development and after school/out-of-school time learning. Adolescence is a critical period of development and the Positive Youth Development framework recognizes:

  • Youth have skills, resources, and competencies to achieve desired goals.
  • Youth are “agentic” persons—they are agents of their own development and learning.
  • Youth exercise agency to contribute to their own growth and to community change.

Led by Center Director David Hansen, the center’s research interests include adolescents' personal agency skills, emotion regulation, teamwork, and similar topics. The center builds on Hansen’s research into adolescent development and aims to understand processes of development, growth, and learning within the out-of-school space.

Center for Positive Youth Development exists to:

  • Offer integrated youth development research, training, supports, and practice.
  • Provide youth development programs access to recent and relevant research, thus equipping the workforce to better respond to needs of youth, increase quality of afterschool/out-of-school time, and advocate and educate different sectors of society on the authentic needs of youth.
  • Advance knowledge through research and projects that contribute to the field and address pressing issues.
  • Facilitate connections at the local state and national levels for promoting positive youth development.
  • Support graduate education and create experiential learning opportunities for the future youth development workforce.
  • Create sustainable systems that enhance youth development programs impact.

Visit the Kansas Enrichment Network (KEN), now part of CPYD.

A full Center for Positive Youth Development website is forthcoming.

Center Director