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Supporting Youth By Strengthening Communities: Helping Children Grow and Preventing Problem Behaviors -- The Dart Model: Linking Development and Risk Together

NCJ Number
Kirk R. Williams; Nancy G. Guerra; Delbert S. Elliott
Date Published
32 pages
A comprehensive framework known as the DART (Development and Risk Together) Model is described that is intended to build on youth development and risk-focused approaches and on mobilizing community resources and activities to support the successful development of all young people and to meet the special needs of at-risk youth.
The DART Model emphasizes the potential of each young person and recognizes this potential is greatly influenced by the settings in which young people live. At any given stage of development, young people with unique mixtures of strengths and limitations seek to master developmental tasks, and they do so in different communities and across different social contexts. The DART Model also recognizes barriers can cause young people to stumble and possibly interfere with accomplishing developmental tasks. The DART Model can help communities develop a seamless system of services to promote development and prevent problems by focusing on three important areas: (1) dynamics of development; (2) linking development to risk for problem behaviors; and (3) identifying risk factors independent of development. Each of these areas is discussed separately, and the use of the DART Model to guide community planning and mobilization efforts, with special emphasis on violence prevention, is discussed. Appendixes present additional information on key cognitive and social-emotional developmental tasks for young people, developmental contexts over the life course, and developmental tasks and their relation to risk factors.