Minnesota Youth Developmental Clock
Group: Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Justice Programs
The Minnesota Youth Development Clock is a model which depicts youth development on a 24 hour clock as children progress from infancy into early adulthood. Each hour on the clock corresponds to one year of growth and maturation. While traditional definitions of youth end at legal adulthood (typically 18 years of age), this model extends the scope of youth to age 24 consistent with emerging research on human brain development. The clock model is designed to integrate youth developmental theory with youth policy. Many statutes and guidelines pertaining to youth in Minnesota contain specific age provisions including laws related to education, child protection, juvenile justice, employment and civic participation. Laws governing youth are potentially made without regard to one another or without specific analysis to their developmental appropriateness. This model allows for examination of policies across different youth serving systems to assess whether they are congruent with one another, as well as if they are appropriate given what is known about youth development.
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