TitleThe five Cs of positive youth development in Norway: Assessment and associations with positive and negative outcomes
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsHolsen, I, Geldhof, GJ, Larsen, T, Aardal, E
JournalInternational Journal of Behavioral Development

As the field of positive youth development (PYD) emerges internationally, models of PYD designed for use in the US must be extended to diverse contexts. For instance, a robust body of evidence supports Lerner and colleagues’ Five Cs Model of PYD in the US, but it remains unclear whether the Five Cs Model can validly capture positive development in other contexts. In this article we examined the Five Cs of PYD using data from 1195 upper secondary school students (ages 16 to 19) in Norway and 839 participants who took part in the 4-H Study of PYD in the United States. Despite some differences, the tests of weak and strong measurement invariance do suggest that the overarching PYD factor as well as a majority of the Cs, retain their qualitative interpretation between the two samples. We next examined correlations between the full battery of PYD items administered to the Norwegian sample and three relevant criterion measures: Anxiety and Depressive symptoms; Life Satisfaction; and Empowerment. The residual Cs tended to correlate positively with indicators of adaptive development and negatively with maladaptive outcomes. The one exception was a positive correlation between Caring and Anxiety and Depressive symptoms. These findings are discussed. Measuring the same constructs in the same way across countries is a prerequisite for studying cultural differences and similarities in development. This study thus represents a step forward in the application of PYD research among diverse youth.