RHY Resources

Adolescents Struggle to Differentiate Emotional States

A new study from Harvard and University of Washington looked at differences in people’s emotional experiences throughout the lifespan with the goal of better understanding why teens’ emotions may seem volatile. Results showed that adolescents often feel multiple emotions at the same time yet have difficulty differentiating them, which may impact their ability to cope well. Teaching self-regulation and mindfulness in RHY programs may help teens improve their ability to understand what they’re feeling, and subsequently reduce the risk of developing more persistent mental health problems. Read about the study.



Six Steps toward Improving Program Inclusion and Equity

This article from the National Institute on Out-of-school Time presents six ways that youth development professionals can improve their capacity to run equitable and culturally inclusive programs. From exploring one’s own implicit biases to using culturally relevant teaching approaches, these evidence-based recommendations can be easily put into action by RHY providers embracing an anti-discrimination stance. The full article also includes suggestions on related reading and tools.



Taking Youth to New Places with Travel

Chicago’s My Block My Hood My City brings inner-city young people on monthly field trips to parts of their city they might not otherwise see. The project’s aim is to open participants’ eyes to “where they can go” both figuratively and literally. RHY providers interested in expanding young people’s horizons and helping them feel less “trapped,” can learn lessons from this nonprofit’s experience building connections with entrepreneurs, artists, and community activists who host trips; structuring them so young people have fun and can actually participate; and securing the sponsorships and donations that cover its costs. Learn more about this approach.


Adolescent Stress and Self-regulation

This guide released by Harvard University’s Center on the Developing Child focuses on the “window of opportunity” to develop executive function skills during adolescence. The 4-page guide describes five skills crucial for self-regulation and healthy adulthood, tips for helping young people build core skills, and the impact of stress on their development. Finally, the guide highlights five ways that programs can reduce stress (and thus, boost executive functioning) through thoughtful program design. Download the guide.

Understanding the Needs of Youth with Incarcerated Parents

This 26-minute video and accompanying discussion guide released by youth.gov focuses on the needs and experiences of young people who have parents or other close family members who are incarcerated. Featuring young adults sharing their personal experiences, as well as insights from child welfare professionals, the video can be used to educate RHY staff and to open discussions with young people. Watch the video and access related reports, toolkits and youth listening sessions at youth.gov.


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