Assessing the possibility of leadership education as psychosocial-based problem behavior prevention for adolescents: A review of the literature.


The purpose of this review is to examine theoretical connections between adolescent leadership education and problem behavior prevention. Both the problem behavior prevention literature and the leadership education literature were reviewed for studies pertaining to the development of psychosocial traits. In the leadership education literature this research focused on the development of leadership potential, as this was considered most closely linked with leadership education for adolescents as opposed to leadership education focused on honing skills in established leaders. Because the purpose of this review was to determine if a theoretical connection exists between two previously unconnected fields of literature, a thorough literature review was conducted as opposed to a systematic review because it was deemed too cumbersome. Instead, salient studies from both fields were examined for their applicability to the other field and the analysis as a whole. The research found significant overlap in psychosocial protective factors for problem behaviors and the psychosocial traits developed through leadership education. This paper includes a review and synthesis of the two literatures, as well as direct comparisons between them. Given that a theoretical connection between leadership education and problem behavior prevention seems to exist, the author recommends empirical research to determine if leadership education is an effective and efficient vehicle for problem behavior prevention. The paper will conclude with recommendations for leadership education practitioners, as well as other key stakeholders.
Theodore L. Caputi
Theodore L. Caputi
Economics & Health Researcher

My research interests include public health, health innovation, and health care.