The RYTE Institute uses a “developmental systems science” approach to research and evaluation to promote youth thriving. Developmental Systems Science refers to the application of systems science methodologies (such as network analysis, agent-based modeling, and system dynamics) to developmental science questions, particularly those derived from a developmental systems theoretical perspective. The phrase “developmental systems science” deliberately combines “developmental science” with “systems science” to reflect the joining of these fields. Developmental science is an approach to human development that emphasizes multidisciplinary and systemic thinking and includes the spectrum from basic to applied forms of inquiry (Lerner, 2006). Systems science refers to a family of methodologies that enable the study of complex problems and typically involve modeling and simulation.
All of the projects in the RYTE Institute are encapsulated under the umbrella of developmental systems science including both theoretical approaches and methodologies. All our projects are organized into three inter-related strands:
- Systems Evaluation Research: The development and testing of a systems science approach to program evaluation and planning to enhance internal evaluation capacity
- Advancing Developmental Systems Science: Exposing developmental scientists to the potential benefits of utilizing systems science methodologies and applying systems science methodologies to developmental science questions
- Building the Evidence-Base in Developmental Science: Studying the effects of individual (e.g., self-regulation) and contextual factors (e.g., family, school, peers, neighborhood) on adolescent development with a focus on youth thriving