Young Males: Strengths-based and male-focused approaches
The Ministry of Youth Development (formerly Youth Affairs) have recently produced a literature review on Young Males that I thought I would post on this site.
Launched by the Hon John Tamihere, Minister of Youth Affairs, the publication Young Males: Strengths-based and male-focused approaches is anticipated to be of great interest to all people who work with the young men of New Zealand. Young Males: Strengths-based and male-focused approaches can be downloaded here.
There are a number of male youth behaviours within New Zealand that have been identified as a cause for concern. Often these behaviours place people, property, or the young men themselves at risk. Young men are disproportionately represented in areas such as leaving school without qualifications, unemployment, justice sector interactions and a number of high health risk behaviours including motor vehicle accidents and youth suicide.
The Ministry of Youth Development recognises that a number of agencies and organisations currently deliver programmes, initiatives and interventions to assist young males in areas of their lives where they could be doing better. The literature review explores two proposed strategies for improving programme outcomes for young men, these are: strengths-based approaches and male-focused delivery styles.
There has not been a lot of work conducted into how gender-related factors contribute to programme recruitment, retention or outcomes. The findings do, however, identify a number of areas where the experiences, feelings, behaviours and needs of young males differ from those of young females.
It should be noted that this is one of the first government publications to record young men not as “at risk” of poor outcomes, but as inherently “at promise” of healthy lives. This strengths-based approach is seen as a significant tool when working with young men. Young men are not a problem to be fixed, but rather an enthusiastic and vibrant source of energy which can be directed positively.
I trust that you will find this publication of interest and that we can work together to promote the potential benefits that the acknowledgement of gender may bring.