Minnesota Youth Development Research Group


The Minnesota Youth Development Research Group was initiated by Dr. Michael C. Rodriguez at the University of Minnesota in 2007. The group consists of faculty members, graduate students, and researchers from different institutions in the U.S. and Canada.


We explore methodological and substantive challenges in youth development, relying on the tenets of positive psychology, ecological perspectives of youth development, and the translation of research to practice. We also do this work in the spirit of elevating youth voice.


The group explores these areas by utilizing existing large-scale data, primarily the MN Student Survey, and state-of-the-art modeling techniques. Three sets of measures were created from items in the survey, including measures of developmental skills, supports, and challenges - important components of social and emotional learning.


Youth development refers to the transitional period during which young people move gradually from early adolescence to adulthood to achieve their potential. The Minnesota Youth Development Research Group investigates the associations among academic, social, emotional, and physical characteristics, in the spirit of positive youth development.

2017 Educational Equity Convening, University of Minnesota

2018 Meeting with the MN Student Survey Interagency Team at the MN Department of Human Services

"Young people should be at the forefront of global change and innovation. Empowered, they can be key agents for development and peace. If, however, they are left on society's margins, all of us will be impoverished."

Kofi Annan

"This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind, a temper of the will, a quality of imagination, a predominance of courage over timidity, of the appetite for adventure over the love of ease."

Robert F. Kennedy

"Youth voice is crucial to the overall effectiveness of service- learning programs. Youth voice has a tremendous impact on program participation and program outcomes, both short term and long term."

Education Commission of the States