Ready by 21 Research

Too few young people are ready.

Researchers Gambone, Connell & Klem (2002) estimate that only 4 in 10 are doing well in their early 20s.

22% are doing poorly in two life areas and not well in any:

  • Productivity: High school diploma or less, are unemployed, on welfare.
  • Health: Poor Health, bad health habits, unsupportive relationships.
  • Connectedness: Commit illegal activity once a month.

43% are doing well in two life areas and okay in one

  • Productivity: Attend college, work steadily.
  • Health: Good health, positive health habits, Healthy relationships.
  • Connectedness: Volunteer, politically active, active in relisious insitutions, active in community.

The National Research Council (NRC) reports that teens need:

  • Physical and Psychological Safety
  • Appropriate Structure
  • Supportive Relationships
  • Opportunities to Belong
  • Positive Social Norms
  • Support for Efficacy and Mattering
  • Opportunities for Skill-Building
  • Integration of Family, School and Community Efforts

But do these supports really make a difference? Even in adolescence?

Absolutely. Gambone and colleagues show that youth with supportive relationships as they enter high school are 5 times more likely to leave high school "ready" than those with weak relationships.

Those seniors who were "ready" at the end of high school were more than 4 times more likely to do well as young adults.

Gambone and colleagues's research suggests that if all young people got the supports they needed in early adolescence, the picture could change from 4 in 10 to 7 in 10!