Youth programs benefit young people | Sunday Observer

Youth programs benefit young people

15 January, 2023

In any country, its youth population is an asset that keeps the economy going. Looking after their mental well-being is one of its future investments. Research indicates that participation in programs designed for the youth, has the potential of promoting and uplifting the positive development of today’s young population. However, it is also remarked that only a handful of information that reveals the factors that influence the interest and the desire of either participating or not in these programs is available.

Researchers suggest that young people should consider participating in youth programs, as it is a sound platform on which the youth is able to gain access to opportunities to learn and build significant skills that are definitely required to facilitate a relatively smooth flow of life. Studies further highlight that compared with the factors related to family and community, the time that is spent on youth programs has been the most rational and dependable predictor of robust youth burgeoning.

Young people’s participation in youth programs may grant them a window of opportunities to achieve many dynamic skills in which the most outstanding is their ability of distinguishing the positive identity which is mostly hidden among them. Giving due respect to others living in the society and developing decision-making skills also contribute significantly to the youth thriving.

Positive and negative aspects

Moreover, the most sought-after requirements such as family and community support, positive values, empowerment and meaningful roles, novel physical, social and intellectual talents and skills, developing creativity and passion, durable and meaningful relationships with adults and everyone in the society as well as that of using time productively are also considered to be some of the most required and appreciated phenomena that are developed among the young people in a program, notably designed for the young.

In that context, it is also argued that participation in youth programs is negatively associated with the use of substances, objectionable, standoffish and austere conduct and dereliction. Also, there is a similar concern on the negative consequences of school misdemeanour and malfeasance as well as early unprotected sex, a widely discussed matter of significance.

It is also noted that the training programs conducted within the organizations are able to magnify the boon and positive consequences of youth involvement in youth programs. Most importantly, building and welcoming active skills go in line with the youth experiences of engagement and belonging. Similarly, the experiences gained in a youth department programme give away a significant number of positive advantages. Meanwhile, researchers warn that unless conducted with the highest care and concern, youth development programs may woefully create a platform on which negative interactions and experiences might thrive.

It is found that some youth getting to know older peers in youth programs may end up with alcohol, drugs or perilous and treacherous behaviour. Some youth may sporadically complain of too much stress, sometimes experienced in a youth program. In that light, it is predominantly suggested that such unexpected negative experiences should be avoided in programs organised in time to come.


Dworkin and Larson (2006) outlined five different types of negative experiences of youth programs that include negative peer influences, poor cooperation, formation of cliques, aversive peer behaviour, and being ridiculed for group membership. A significant number of these type of behaviour copy the research conducted that both the ethnic as well as that of sexual minority group members declare about the school climate as well as that of the ways which either restrict or exclude them from within the school context. Derided or marginalized populations give information on relatively lesser participation in activities owing to lower mentors and eugenically subtle options.

However, it is widely accepted that young people are active agents in their own growth. They become the drivers of their own development. It is noticed that even the mere participation in youth programs has the capacity of helping young people in subduing misery and crunch, whereby enhancing their inclination to engage with endeavours to assist the others in the society, improving leadership qualities, upgrading their attempts to sustain sound physical health as well as expanding their participation in both political as well as social activities in the young adulthood.

The experiences of this calibre frequently provide young people with a first opportunity for a substantial connection with their respective communities that include concerned adults, as well as that of an opportunity to engage with education and civic actions.

Hence, the decision taken to participate or not to do so in a youth program should be comprehended from the decision of a young person with regard to a specific context. Given the probable advantage from participating, it is significant that efforts should be taken to conduct studies which have the ability of providing the most sought-after information with regard to the participation and non-participation of youth in the programs which are streamlined and notably prepared for the young people in the population.