Do After School Programs Reduce Delinquency?

Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice, The University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland 20742-8235, USA.
Prevention Science (Impact Factor: 2.63). 01/2005; 5(4):253-66. DOI: 10.1023/B:PREV.0000045359.41696.02
Source: PubMed


After school programs (ASPs) are popular and receive substantial public funding. Aside from their child-care and supervision value, ASPs often provide youth development and skill-building activities that might reduce delinquent behavior. These possibilities and the observation that arrests for juvenile crime peak between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. on school days have increased interest in the delinquency prevention potential of ASPs. This study examined effects of participation in ASPs conducted in Maryland during the 1999--2000 school year and the mechanism through which such programs may affect delinquent behavior. Results imply that participation reduced delinquent behavior for middle-school but not for elementary-school-aged youths. This reduction was not achieved by decreasing time spent unsupervised or by increasing involvement in constructive activities, but by increasing intentions not to use drugs and positive peer associations. Effects on these outcomes were strongest in programs that incorporated a high emphasis on social skills and character development.

Download full-text


Available from: Stephanie Gerstenblith, Jan 12, 2015
  • Source
    • "Our interest is not limited to bargaining with terrorists, but also includes rewarding nonterrorist behavior. For example, many programs (e.g., after-school programs) provide legal alternatives to crime, which inherently raise the expected utility of leading crime-free lives (Gottfredson et al. 2004; Newman et al. 2000). Governments have also attempted to provide alternatives to terrorist violence. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Rational choice approaches to reducing terrorist violence would suggest raising the costs of terrorism through punishment, thereby reducing the overall expected utility of terrorism. In this article, we argue that states should also consider raising the expected utility of abstaining from terrorism through rewards. We test effects of repressive (or punishing) and conciliatory (or rewarding) actions on terrorist behavior using the newly developed GATE-Israel dataset, which identifies events by Israeli state actors toward Palestinian targets on a full range of counterterrorism tactics and policies from 1987 to 2004. Results show that repressive actions are either unrelated to terror or related to subsequent increases in terror, and conciliatory actions are generally related to decreases in terror, depending on the tactical period. Findings also reveal the importance of understanding the role of terrorists' constituencies for reducing violence.
    American Sociological Review 07/2012; 77(4):597-624. DOI:10.1177/0003122412450573 · 4.42 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "Most recent work is focused on identifying quality indicators, that is, the common features of programs that contribute to positive outcomes for children (e.g., Gottfredson et al. 2004; Rosenthal and Vandell 1996). For instance, Gottfredson et al. (2004) found that programs emphasizing social skills and character development decreased delinquent behavior among middle school students to a greater degree than programs without social development goals. Gottfredson's more recent findings , though, caution that some program features predict poor outcomes for youth, in particular for adolescents. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This study examined a model for mental health consultation, training and support designed to enhance the benefits of publicly-funded recreational after-school programs in communities of concentrated urban poverty for children's academic, social, and behavioral functioning. We assessed children's mental health needs and examined the feasibility and impact of intervention on program quality and children's psychosocial outcomes in three after-school sites (n = 15 staff, 89 children), compared to three demographically-matched sites that received no intervention (n = 12 staff, 38 children). Findings revealed high staff satisfaction and feasibility of intervention, and modest improvements in observed program quality and staff-reported children's outcomes. Data are considered with a public health lens of mental health promotion for children in urban poverty.
    Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research 07/2012; 40(5). DOI:10.1007/s10488-012-0432-x · 3.44 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "Programs that use evidence-based practices to promote academic success yield better outcomes than other programs (Durlak and Weissberg 2007). Skill training and character development strategies are also important components of effective after-school programs (Gottfredson et al. 2004). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Findings from children and youth who participated in structured after-school interventions in four urban public housing communities are used to illustrate the complexities of conducting program-based research in after-school settings. Findings from four field investigations reveal the importance of family support, reading skills, parent involvement, and positive peers in engaging youth in services, developing academic skills and avoiding involvement in problem behavior. Challenges in conducting program-based research and lessons learned from each of the four studies are discussed in the context of social work practice and after-school programming for at-risk children and youth. KeywordsAt-risk youth–After-school programs–Evaluation
    Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal 08/2011; 28(4):319-334. DOI:10.1007/s10560-011-0236-y
Show more