Positive Youth Development and Religious Education

  • Chris HacketEmail author


A positive youth development (PYD) approach is about developing inner strengths or traits in young people to deal with the challenges of life. The approach has the potential to surround youth today with healthy outlets to offset negative risk factors, such as alienation, depression and self-harm. The focus of PYD is on what young people can do to build initiative and resilience rather than remain locked into helplessness and malaise. There are five key ingredients to PYD: competence, confidence, connection, character, and caring. Programmes that empower young people to develop these traits are often characterised by young people contributing to their family, local and school communities. Evidence suggests that programmes involving a spiritual and religious background seem to be successful in assisting young people in their development. In Catholic secondary schools in Western Australia, a whole school religious education curriculum with strong spiritual and religious practices seems to promote PYD traits. This chapter will explore the interplay between positive youth development and religious education within these schools.


Young People Western Australia Positive Youth Development Religious Education Servant Leadership 
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of EducationThe University of Notre Dame AustraliaFremantleAustralia

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