Resources for Working with Teens

by Anne Lawrence

When I took on this month’s Bookshelf, I did not truly understand how few books are readily available on working with teens. I searched the Internet and asked people I consider to be experts in the field. Some recommended websites, while one colleague offered books she had recently read to better understand her own teen. I noted that we’ve previously highlighted some great youth-work websites in our Page Turner links, such as Youth Action NYC, a student advocacy group that offers training and other resources for young activists, and Freechild Project, which connects youth with resources that encourage social activism and enable them to be leaders for change.

The books my colleague recommended can help youth explore the issues they face, so they’re also excellent resources for adults who want to understand those issues so they can support teens in this tumultuous stage of life. I’m also recommending journals and websites that focus on positive youth development for teens.

Books and Journals for Working with Teens

The Book Cover

New Directions For Youth Development
Jossey-Bass, Quarterly

New Directions for Youth Development is one of the best-respected journals in the field. Each issue focuses on a specific aspect of youth development work. It focuses primarily on research and theory rather than "how to." You can purchase a hard-copy subscription or individual articles for download on the Jossey-Bass website.

The Book Cover

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens
Sean Covey
Fireside, 1998

Sean Covey is the son of Stephen R. Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. In this book, he uses an engaging and lighthearted style to apply his father’s principles to the challenges facing teens. A reviewer on writes, "As a 16-year-old junior in high school, I have found this book to be the best I have ever read for someone who wants to improve your life."

The Book Cover

The Six Most Important Decisions You'll Ever Make: A Guide for Teens
Sean Covey
Fireside, 2006

Sean Covey follows his 7 Habits book with a volume designed to help teens make smart decisions on such issues as dealing with parents, dating, addictions, school, and more. An Amazon reviewer writes, "This book is definitely an indispensable guide for teens, as well as for parents or any adult who influences teens."

Web-based Resources for Working with Teens

CYD Journal

CYD Journal focuses on community youth development, focusing on partnerships among youth and adults to create a more just society. Though the journal has apparently not been published since 2005, many valuable archived articles are available for free download.

Fund for the City of New York Training Guides

FCNY’s Youth Development Institute offers publications on youth development that many programs use. The Training Guides, booklets on youth outcomes and core competencies for youth development workers, are available for purchase as hard copies or for free download.

Professional Development Standards

This issue of The Professional Development E-Newsletter, published by the National Youth Development Learning Network, covers a set of criteria that can help youth-serving organizations create an effective professional development system. The National Youth Development Learning Network is a project of the National Collaboration of Youth.

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In this Issue


Anne Lawrence
Amanda Moscoso
Sabrina Evans-Ellis
Elizabeth Sosa


Jan Gallagher

Web Design & Programming

David W. Hill

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