Program features may affect youth differently with one youth experiences positive results while another might not benefit as much.

Research gaps

Although the research evidence is strong on the developmental needs of youth, there are questions that still need to be studied and answered. The most important to improve programming are:

  1. There is strong evidence that autonomy, relatedness, and competence are critical factors of youth development that lead to positive outcomes. However, we do not know if these are the only critical factors.
  2. Evidence-based programs and practices may not be effective across all activities or for all youth. There is not enough research to conclude which programs or practices work best for specific youth in different contexts in the GTA. It is important for these practices to be adapted with those youth in mind.
  3. Effective youth programs can lead to positive outcomes for youth and communities. However, it is less clear how these outcomes are related to health and well-being over the long-term.