Prevention Science + Digital Tools + Support = Successful Kids

Social Development Strategy

Social Development Strategy

CTC’s Social Development Strategy promotes positive youth development. We’ve organized the knowledge on what protects young people from developing health and behavior problems into an easy-to-use strategy.

Opportunities. Skills. Recognition.

The Social Development Strategy fosters the success and health of young people from before birth through every stage of development. It’s easy to use, easy to remember, and it works!

Providing young people with opportunities, skills and recognition strengthens bonding with family, school and community. Strong bonds motivate young people to adopt healthy standards for behavior.

This strategy has been tested and proven effective. It is a foundation of CTC.


Protective Factors

Researchers have identified protective factors that increase the likelihood of health and success for children. The Social Development Strategy provides a way of increasing the protective factors for the youth in your community.


Strategy for Interaction

When you use the Social Development Strategy in daily interactions with young people, it helps keep them on track for healthy development. The strategy has five key components:

  • Opportunities: Provide developmentally appropriate opportunities to young people, for active participation and meaningful interaction with prosocial others.
  • Skills: Teach young people the skills they need to succeed
  • Recognition: Provide consistent specific praise and recognition for effort, improvement, and achievement.
  • Bonding: Acknowledge a young person’s effort and promote positive bonding — a sense of attachment, emotional connection and commitment to the people and groups who provide that recognition. Bonding can occur with a family member, teacher, coach, employer or neighbor.
  • Clear Standards for Behavior: Through the process of bonding, young people become motivated to live according to the healthy standards of the person or group to whom they are bonded.


Research Shows the Strategy Works

In a research project that followed 808 ten-year-olds for more than 15 years, the Social Development Strategy was proven successful.

When parents and elementary teachers were provided training in how to use the Social Development Strategy during the elementary grades, 15 years later their children had better outcomes than those who did not receive the training.

Positive youth outcomes include: a greater percentage of students who graduated high school on time, better economic outcomes, better mental health in their 20’s, significantly fewer sexually transmitted diseases — especially among those at greatest risk, and fewer teen pregnancies.


Research Studies


Programs and Research