Engagement in health risk behaviours (HRBs) amongst young people is increasing despite numerous programmes to address such behaviours. The active engagement of multiple stakeholder groups, including youth, in articulating the content of youth development programmes, is thought to significantly increase buy-in, participation and success of intervention programmes. This article reports on a modified concept mapping study that used seven interviews with five teachers and two community leaders, as well as three focus groups with 32 learners with three stakeholder groups (youth, youth community programme leaders, and teachers). The stakeholders were asked to identify the content that they believe should be included in youth development programmes in order to succeed in reducing, delaying or preventing engagement in HRBs in the South African context. The findings of a thematic content analysis indicated that programmes aimed at effectively combating HRBs amongst youth should include content on four major aspects or themes: 1) HRBs that the learners engage in; 2) perceived reasons why youth engage in HRBs; 3) places of exposure to health risk behaviour; and 4) specific content or focuses. A concept map with four subsidiary quadrants was distilled and illustrated in a visual-special network representative of concepts and relations between the concepts that create propositions of stakeholders’ perceptions of what should be included in the content of proposed programmes.