Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Ph.D. in Psychology



First Advisor

Laura R. Johnson

Second Advisor

Kirsten Dellinger

Third Advisor

Stefan E. Schulenberg

Relational Format



Researchers and practitioners are increasingly interested in positive youth development (PYD), an approach that emphasizes the competencies, strengths, and responsibilities of youth from all backgrounds. This paradigm may be especially useful in research with international youth given the paucity of research on international populations and the stigma surrounding research that focuses on deficits and problem behaviors. I explore youth's developmental strengths using one PYD measure, the Developmental Assets Profile (DAP), within a diverse, national sample of Tanzanian youth. The DAP Total score, Internal and External Assets, and Context Areas all displayed acceptable internal consistencies (.94 ≥ &agr; ≥ .74). Internal consistencies for the Asset Categories were more variable (.78 ≥ &agr; ≥ .47). DAP scales correlated significantly and positively with other measures of PYD, supporting the convergent validity of these scales. Scores clustered primarily at the high end of the possible range of DAP scores, with most scores falling in the "good" or "excellent" range. Several contextual and demographic factors affected DAP scores, with the most consistent effect being that vulnerable youth scored lower than non-vulnerable youth. Results from qualitative data indicated that the developmental assets framework was relevant to Tanzanian youth. Qualitative data revealed that additional factors, such as the provision of social services, occupational development, environmental protection, and traditional beliefs and behaviors are also important to consider. Although the DAP shopromising psychometric properties, cultural modification may be necessary. Context affects PYD as measured by the DAP, but more in-depth, mixed-method, and experimental studies are needed.


Emphasis: Clinical Psychology



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