The Positive Youth Development (PYD) approach identifies adolescents as resources to be empowered rather than problems to be solved. All adolescents have strengths and will fully develop when these strengths are integrated with healthy resources in the diverse environments where they live and interact. The objective of this study was twofold: (1) to present the Positive Development Program for Adolescents living in rural areas (DPAR Program) and (2) to pilot test the intervention program. The DPAR program was evaluated using a repeated-measures design before and after the intervention, with an intervention group and a control group. The sample consisted of 176 adolescents between 11 and 15 years old (M = 12.89, SD = 0.90) who belonged to two high schools with similar characteristics located in rural settings. A mixed-design analysis of variance was performed for each dependent variable. Results showed a significant increase in most of the study variables (self-esteem, self-efficacy, group identity, empathy, relational skills, assertiveness, and conflict resolution) and a significant decrease in alexithymia, as well as better academic performance. All this evidence indicates that the DPAR program is effective in promoting positive adolescent development and addresses the lack of programs based on the PYD approach in rural areas.
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