82057 - Theory and Methods for Youth Empowerment

Academic Year 2021/2022

  • Moduli: Antonella Guarino (Modulo 1) Gabriele Prati (Modulo 2)
  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures (Modulo 1) Traditional lectures (Modulo 2)
  • Campus: Cesena
  • Corso: Second cycle degree programme (LM) in School and community psychology (cod. 0993)

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, students will know the main methods of interventions with groups of adolescents and young people; - will be able to choose and evaluate the applicability of the different methodologies and techniques of intervention; - will be able to develop and evaluate intervention projects to promote young people's empowerment. The course will promote the acquisition of various assessment and intervention methods with young people.

Course contents

To attend the course it is necessary to have basic knowledge on Community psychology, psychology of groups and psychology of adolescence, to be assessed during the first lectures.

Specific themes:

a) theoretical models of community interventions with youth, aimed to enhance empowerment and psychosocial well being, and prevent risk and deviance;

b) needs analysis, development and evaluation of interventions aimed to enhance young people empowerment and psychosocial well being. Challenges, resources, best practices.

c) methodologies and techniques used to enhance young people empowerment and psychosocial well being.

The programme includes two modules, dealing with the following topics:

Module 1 (30 hr.)

The module focuses on youth empowerment, from a theoretical and empirical perspective. Different examples of contexts and services will be presented as case studies of empowerment promotion for youth. The module will also address the issue of evaluation, project design, and participatory action research with youth.

Module 2 (30 hr.)

Approaches for community interventions aimed at health and psychosocial wellbeing promotion for marginalised people. Different exampes of projects implemented for the empowerment of people with mental disease, women and migrants were discussed and critically analysed.


Reference readings on the contents treated in class:

Cicognani, E., Albanesi C. (2013). Giovani fuori dal comune? Metodologie e strumenti per la promozione della cittadinanza attiva nei giovani. ARAS: Fano.

Prati, G. (2019). Empowerment e giovani: dimensioni e modelli teorici (Youth empowerment: dimensions and theoretical models), Psicologia di comunità, 2, 93-109. doi: 10.3280/PSC2019-002007.

Prati, G. Mazzoni, D., Guarino, A., Albanesi, C., & Cicognani, E. (2020). Evaluation of an active citizenship intervention based on youth-led participatory action research. Health Education & Behavior, 47(6):894-904. doi:10.1177/1090198120948788

Mazzoni D., Cicognani E. (2009), Partecipazione sociale e benessere in adolescenza. Una rassegna della letteratura. Psicologia Scolastica, 2.

Cicognani, E., Albanesi C. (2020). La cittadinanza attiva. Strumenti di promozione a scuola. Roma: Carocci.

Zani, B. (a cura di) (2017) A teatro. In compagnia. Storie di tre compagnie dei Teatri della salute mentale, Bologna, Pendragon, pp. 129-156.

Christens, B. D. (2012). Targeting empowerment in community development: A community psychology approach to enhancing local power and well-being. Community Development Journal, 47(4), 538-554.

Daykin, N., Orme, J., Evans, D., Salmon, D., McEachran, M., & Brain, S. (2008). The impact of participation in performing arts on adolescent health and behaviour: a systematic review of the literature. Journal of health psychology, 13(2), 251-264.

Further readings will be provided in class.

Teaching methods


Group discussions

Exercises on methods and techniques presented in class.

Assessment methods

The final oral exam aims to evaluate the following didactic objectives:

- to know the main theoretical models for promoting youth empowerment and psychosocial well being;

- to know the main methodologies of intervention for the promotion of empowerment of adolescents and young people ;

- to be able to critically assess interventions.

The final oral exam, that is comprehensive of the two modules, will include (3/6) open ended questions aimed to assess the acquired basic knowledge in the topics of the course (treated in both modules) and the critical thinking in the analysis of the psychosocial phenomena. Grade 18 (essential knowledge) will be obtained when answers show basic knowledge, without critical discussions or reference to specific experiences and research exemplifying concepts/topics. Grade 30 (excellent knowledge) will be obtained when answers show critical knowledge of the topic/concept, and good capacity to discuss relevant projects and research analysed during classes and in the texts.

Active participation in class will contribute to the final grade up to 20%.

In order to be admitted to the exam, students must register on the exam session on Almaesami considering the deadline.



Teaching tools

PC, Internet, power point presentations, web resources.

Office hours

See the website of Gabriele Prati

See the website of Antonella Guarino


Quality education Reduced inequalities Partnerships for the goals

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.