Voices of youth: Listening to the perspectives of youth about positive youth development, a mosaic approach
The purpose of this qualitative study was to listen to the voices of youth ages 9-12 about environmental contributors or resources that influence their positive youth development. An adapted version of this Clark and Moss (2011) participatory research method, the mosaic approach provided youth an opportunity to use their voice to provide insight to research. Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory and Bandura’s self-efficacy component of the social learning theory were established the theoretical construct that framed this study. Eleven participants from the southwestern region of the United States illustrated their daily life encounters through interviews, photographs, and artifacts. The participants were between the ages of 9-11 and were considered co-researchers. The researcher’s field notes were also used. One interview question created a foundation for participants to provide open-ended responses. Triangulation of interviews, photographs, artifacts, and field notes revealed three themes describing what influenced youth and what they valued. The three themes were 1) interdependent relationships 2) opportunities for risk taking and 3) humanitarian contributions. Implications for early education professionals, parents, and youth programming professionals were offered as well as recommendations for future research.