Article

Qualities That Attract Urban Youth to After-School Settings and Promote Continued Participation

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Abstract

Background/Context Studies carried out over the last two decades have established structured after-school programs as significant contexts for adolescent development. Recent large-scale evaluations of after-school initiatives have yielded mixed results, finding some impact on adolescents’ attitudes toward school but limited impact on their academic performance. One clear conclusion of these studies, however, is that it matters how often and for how long young people spend time in after-school settings. Purpose/Research Question This study describes the features of after-school settings that are most appealing and engaging to youth growing up in low-income communities. Setting Analyses focus on a network of five after-school centers that serve predominantly racial and cultural minority youth living in low-income urban neighborhoods. Participants Participants in the study include 120 youth who varied in their frequency of participation in the after-school centers. Of these participants, 20 were in elementary school, 76 were in middle school, and 24 were in high school. Forty-two percent identified themselves as Asian American, 22% as African American, 13% as Latino/Latina, 7% as European American, and 5% as Filipino, and 10% were categorized as “other” or “unknown.” Research Design This study is a qualitative investigation geared toward understanding young people's subjective experiences and meaning making. Data are drawn principally from focus groups and individual interviews with participants over a 2-year period and supplemented with field work conducted by a team of trained youth ethnographers. Findings Our analysis of these data points to three features of the youth centers that youth identified as valuable: supportive relationships with adults and peers; safety; and opportunities to learn. Results highlight the meaning and significance youth ascribed to each feature, while also underlining the important function that centers with these features play in adolescent development. Conclusions/Recommendations After-school settings have the potential to serve as a unique developmental niche by meeting needs that are not consistently met in other contexts. Young people's descriptions of supports and opportunities also underscore the interrelationships among the positive features they perceived. Researchers, practitioners, and policy makers are encouraged to recognize after-school programs as core contexts of development that should be assessed according to the full spectrum of adolescents’ developmental needs.

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... Although limited, some researchers have asked adolescents, living in neighbourhoods of low SES, about their after-school programme experiences. Strobel et al. (2008) found that urban youths considered opportunities to learn, to be autonomous, to feel physically and emotionally safe and to develop relationships with adults and peers as important programme characteristics. Hirsch's et al. (2000) participants referred to the boys and girls club as a 'second home', demonstrating their close attachment to the inner-city organization where meaningful relationships with adults and peers were present. ...
... There's games, activities, so if they get bored … if they're doing crafts and then they get bored, all they have to do is go to the gym, then after they can, like watch a movie or something, there's lots of things to do. (Justina) The children liked being able to 'hangout' and that they were able to 'go back and forth': Having a place to engage in unstructured leisure has been identified as significant to youth who attend other programmes as well (Anderson-Butcher, Newsome, and Ferrari 2003;Henderson and King 1999;Strobel et al. 2008). Along these same lines, Ellis (2002) referred to the importance of places that include 'space for creativity and growth' and the need for children to have 'unprogrammed' space (84) or as Chawla (1992) described, 'undefined space' (69). ...
... The gym was a popular place to play together and for Mitch, his favourite part of UrbanKidz was 'playing with my friends … pool … hockey … soccer'. Joint participation in activities or simply 'hanging out' can facilitate positive interactions among peers, thereby encouraging the growth and development of relationships (Hirsch et al. 2000;Strobel et al. 2008). The provision of activities designed to encourage positive interactions among peers is a practical strategy that can contribute to the positive development of children given that youth in other settings report friendship as a critical factor for participation (Humbert et al. 2006). ...
Article
The purpose of this qualitative case study was to explore the experiences of children living with low socioeconomic status (SES) at a community recreation centre using the framework of place attachment [Scannell, L., and R. Gifford. 2010. “Defining Place Attachment: A Tripartite Organizing Framework.” Journal of Environmental Psychology 30 (1): 1-10. doi:10.1016/j.jenvp.2009.09.006]. Seven children took part in semi-structured interviews and drawing activities. Additional data were collected through observations, field and reflective notes, documents and a staff focus group interview. The overarching theme of having opportunities emerged from a thematic analysis of the data. The children, as they shared about their experiences at the centre, talked about having opportunities in three main ways: opportunities to do, opportunities to connect and opportunities to be. The findings are discussed broadly within the framework of place attachment and through the literature on after-school programming, children's geographies, place and SES.
... Focused on student responses, Strobel, Kirshner, O"Donoghue, and McLaughlin (2008) held focus groups and interviews with a diverse group of 120 elementary school, middle school, and high school students over the course of 2 years. The participants reported that supportive, caring relationships with adults and peers, physical and emotional safety, opportunities to learn, and choices were important to them. ...
... Interestingly, girls" responses indicated a negative relationship between their perceptions of developmental opportunities in afterschool and the number of recreational activities offered, which suggests that the activities might not have been engaging for girls. Further, whereas elementary and high school students reported more developmental opportunities in afterschool, middle school students reported fewer opportunities, a finding supported by the literature (Strobel et al., 2008). Mahoney, Parente, and Lord (2007) conducted a 2-year study of 141 students with a mean age of 8.4 years, to determine how students" engagement in afterschool impacted their perceived social competence, school grades, and "effectance motivation," defined as an innate need to experience competence (White, 1959, p. 297). ...
... Afterschool participants in several studies indicated that their attitudes toward school improved (Anderson-Butcher et al., 2003;Durlak & Weissberg, 2007;Friedman, 2002Friedman, /2003. Furthermore, participants focused on the importance of choice offered (Strobel et al., 2008), relationships with peers (Anderson-Butcher et al., 2003;Strobel et al., 2008), safety and relationships with staff (Strobel et al., 2008), and parent networks with afterschool staff (Anderson-Butcher et al., 2003). ...
... It is typically conceptualised as comprising a combination of inclusion, belonging, trust, care, and the absence of bullying and exclusion (Diversi and Mecham 2005;Halpern, Barker, and Mollard 2000;Lee et al. 2009). When spaces are emotionally safe, adolescents describe feeling secure, accepted, connected, and relaxed while also being able to discuss and get advice for personal and difficult problems (Diversi and Mecham 2005;Halpern, Barker, and Mollard 2000;Lee et al. 2009;Strobel et al. 2008). Adolescents associate emotional safety with feeling like a family, spaces where they have access to resources and unconditional support (Diversi and Mecham 2005;Halpern, Barker, and Mollard 2000) and have the ability to 'be themselves'. ...
... Given early and middle adolescents' tendency to be influenced by peer opinions, it is important to explore the existing influence of the social context on feelings associated with emotional safety, particularly among those who are underserved. In afterschool programmes serving low-income neighbourhoods, supportive relationships with peers and adults are associated with feelings of physical and emotional safety in elementary, middle, and high school youth (Strobel et al. 2008). Among adolescents in substance abuse programmes, important and safe locations were interpreted primarily through social reasons such as friendship, family, and protective people (Mason and Korpela 2009). ...
... Staff members in physical activity-based youth programmes may be particularly important in establishing emotional safety. Adolescents value staff members who are honest, open, skilled, easy to talk to, fun, spend time with them, and are role models or mentors (McDonough, Ullrich-French, and McDavid 2018;Strobel et al. 2008;Wright, Alaggia, and Krygsman 2014). Youth aged 10-17 years who were involved in afterschool programmes across the United States noted that feeling able to talk to programme staff about personal problems was important to their psychological safety (Lee et al. 2009). ...
... Youth's trust in leaders is often seen as a key to the power of these relationships (Halpern, Barker, & Mollard, 2000;Hirsch et al., 2000;Strobel, Kirshner, O'Donoghue, & McLaughlin, 2008). Eccles and Gootman (2002) propose that youth's trust in leaders "magnifies" the influence of the program. ...
... Scholars have suggested another beneficial process in programs that may depend on trust in leaders. Youth sometimes utilize program leaders as "natural mentors" for help with personal issues (Hirsch et al., 2000;Strobel et al., 2008). Rhodes posits that trust is prerequisite to youth's willingness to draw on a person for mentoring activities such as using the person as a "sounding board" or asking for advice on personal issues (Rhodes, 2005;Rhodes & Lowe, 2009). ...
... Prior research suggests that youth's experience of trust in caring relationships with program leaders is an important contributor to beneficial program outcomes (Halpern et al., 2000;Hirsch et al., 2000;Strobel et al., 2008;Vandell et al., 2015). This qualitative study was aimed at understanding how these benefits from trust unfold-what are the processes? ...
... Similar key experiences have also been found in research from youth programs and youth development, which we use to provide a lens in understanding their deepening participation with a coding environment (Strobel et al., 2008). We conclude by suggesting ways to design coding experiences and environments to better support young people's meaningful participation and broader development. ...
... Our study design leverages theories of youth development that recognize youth as being producers and agents of their own development (Eccles and Gootman, 2002). Building on these theories, studies often ask youth directly about their learning experiences to investigate their development (Dawes and Larson, 2011;Strobel et al., 2008). We designed an interview protocol to ask youth about key moments in their experiences, an interview strategy used by other youth development researchers to understand youth development over time and to identify qualities that mattered to youth (Strobel et al., 2008). ...
... Building on these theories, studies often ask youth directly about their learning experiences to investigate their development (Dawes and Larson, 2011;Strobel et al., 2008). We designed an interview protocol to ask youth about key moments in their experiences, an interview strategy used by other youth development researchers to understand youth development over time and to identify qualities that mattered to youth (Strobel et al., 2008). Moments are not isolated events, but points in time that are influenced by past moments and influence future decisions and actions. ...
Article
Purpose Many initiatives are seeking to engage children in learning to code. However, few studies have examined how children’s engagement in learning and using coding develops over time. This study aims to seek young people’s perspectives on what they viewed as important in their long-term participation in a coding community. Design/methodology/approach This study identified youth with a high level of participation and who demonstrated emergent leadership in the Scratch online community. Using methods from qualitative research on youth development, individual interviews were conducted in which these youth were asked about memorable moments in their participation and how these experiences influenced them. Findings While each young person described a unique pathway and perspective, this study identified key experiences that motivated their participation, influenced their development and inspired their emergent leadership. These experiences included opportunities to learn through exploration, to receive feedback from peers, to engage in creative collaboration and to contribute to the community. Practical implications This study discussed these findings in light of previous research on youth development, and it suggests that building on practices and principles from research on youth programs can help more young people become engaged in developing broader skills with coding. Originality/value Youth highlighted experiences that enabled them to express their ideas, to build relationships, to help others and to see themselves in new ways. Their perspectives expand beyond the predominant focus of coding initiatives on computational thinking and problem-solving skills to also support social, leadership and identity development.
... Research and theory indicate that, when young people feel safe and are engaged, they are more likely to fully reap the developmental and educational benefits of after-school programming (Dawes and Larson 2011;Hirsch 2005;Roth et al. 2010;Vandell et al. 2005). This may be, in part, because when youth feel safe and engaged in program activities, they are also more likely to maintain regular attendance and active participation in community programs (Ginwright 2007;Deschenes et al. 2010;Strobel et al. 2008). Given this scholarship, we created a theoretical path model that situates safety and engagement as mediators of experiences with youth-adult partnership and positive youth development. ...
... Other research indicates that after-school programs offer places for meeting and hanging out with friends, and that when adults provide safety and structure in these places, youth gain new skills and a sense of belonging (Anderson-Butcher et al. 2003;Perkins et al. 2007). Studies by Strobel et al. (2008) and Whitlock (2007) emphasize the influence of self-directed activity, voice, and purpose. These studies indicate that safety and trust arise not only from adult caring and nurturance, but also when youth perceive that the adults are providing choices for their involvement and when the choices are perceived as being meaningful and important. ...
... Most important is that adults organize program activities in ways that facilitate youth voice. Concurrently, and consistent with past research, the present path models indicate that empowerment is also enhanced indirectly, when adults partner with youth in ways that facilitate youth's psychological engagement and motivation in program activities McLaughlin et al. 1994;Strobel et al. 2008). ...
Article
Full-text available
After-school programs are prevalent across the world, but there is a paucity of research that examines quality within the “black box” of programs at the point of service. Grounded in current theory, this research examined hypothesized pathways between the experience of youth-adult partnership (youth voice in decision-making; supportive adult relationships), the mediators of program safety and engagement, and the developmental outcomes of youth empowerment (leadership competence, policy control) and community connectedness (community connections, school attachment). Surveys were administered to 207 ethnically diverse (47.3 % female; 63.3 % Malay) youth, age 15–16, attending after-school co-curricular programs in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Results showed that youth voice in program decision-making predicted both indicators of youth empowerment. Neither youth voice nor supportive adult relationships was directly associated with community connectedness, however. Program engagement mediated the associations between youth-adult partnership and empowerment. In contrast, program safety mediated the associations between youth-adult partnership and community connectedness. The findings indicate that the two core components of youth-adult partnership—youth voice and supportive adult relationships—may operate through different, yet complementary, pathways of program quality to predict developmental outcomes. Implications for future research are highlighted. For reasons of youth development and youth rights, the immediate challenge is to create opportunities for youth to speak on issues of program concern and to elevate those adults who are able and willing to help youth exercise their voice.
... Research and theory indicate that, when young people feel safe and are engaged, they are more likely to fully reap the developmental and educational benefits of after-school programming (Dawes and Larson 2011;Hirsch 2005;Roth et al. 2010;Vandell et al. 2005). This may be, in part, because when youth feel safe and engaged in program activities, they are also more likely to maintain regular attendance and active participation in community programs (Ginwright 2007;Deschenes et al. 2010;Strobel et al. 2008). Given this scholarship, we created a theoretical path model that situates safety and engagement as mediators of experiences with youth-adult partnership and positive youth development. ...
... Other research indicates that after-school programs offer places for meeting and hanging out with friends, and that when adults provide safety and structure in these places, youth gain new skills and a sense of belonging (Anderson-Butcher et al. 2003;Perkins et al. 2007). Studies by Strobel et al. (2008) and Whitlock (2007) emphasize the influence of self-directed activity, voice, and purpose. These studies indicate that safety and trust arise not only from adult caring and nurturance, but also when youth perceive that the adults are providing choices for their involvement and when the choices are perceived as being meaningful and important. ...
... Most important is that adults organize program activities in ways that facilitate youth voice. Concurrently, and consistent with past research, the present path models indicate that empowerment is also enhanced indirectly, when adults partner with youth in ways that facilitate youth's psychological engagement and motivation in program activities McLaughlin et al. 1994;Strobel et al. 2008). ...
Article
Full-text available
After-school programs are prevalent across the world, but there is a paucity of research that examines quality within the "black box" of programs at the point of service. Grounded in current theory, this research examined hypothesized pathways between the experience of youth-adult partnership (youth voice in decision-making; supportive adult relationships), the mediators of program safety and engagement, and the developmental outcomes of youth empowerment (leadership competence, policy control) and community connectedness (community connections, school attachment). Surveys were administered to 207 ethnically diverse (47.3 % female; 63.3 % Malay) youth, age 15-16, attending after-school co-curricular programs in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Results showed that youth voice in program decision-making predicted both indicators of youth empowerment. Neither youth voice nor supportive adult relationships was directly associated with community connectedness, however. Program engagement mediated the associations between youth-adult partnership and empowerment. In contrast, program safety mediated the associations between youth-adult partnership and community connectedness. The findings indicate that the two core components of youth-adult partnership-youth voice and supportive adult relationships-may operate through different, yet complementary, pathways of program quality to predict developmental outcomes. Implications for future research are highlighted. For reasons of youth development and youth rights, the immediate challenge is to create opportunities for youth to speak on issues of program concern and to elevate those adults who are able and willing to help youth exercise their voice.
... Students at an urban afterschool center contrasted groups at the center with those at the school (Strobel, Kirshner, O'Donoghue, & McLaughlin, 2008). Relationships among peers at the center tended to be more positive whereas there was more fighting and disrespect at the school. ...
... The authors noted relationships at the center may been more positive because the youth invited their friends to the center, which may have been the reason they were able to get along better (Strobel et al., 2008). ...
... Additionally, Kelly and colleagues (2010) previously supported encouraging friend groups to participate together in order to increase Black girls' physical activity participation. As was the case for Jasmine and Jordan, friends may increase participants' likelihood of maintaining membership and attendance and may also lead to decreased relational issues (Strobel et al., 2008). The findings of the current study indicate that the presence of friend groups does not completely eliminate the potential for negative influences or problem behaviors. ...
Article
Black and Hispanic adolescent girls are among those with the highest risks for physical inactivity. Previous research has demonstrated the importance of peer support in influencing their participation in physical activity. However, little research has addressed the ways in which the peer relationships in sport based youth development (SBYD) programs influence adolescents’ participation and engagement choices. The purpose of this study was to explore the peer experiences of Black and Hispanic adolescent girls in a school-based SBYD program and the influences on their participation and engagement behaviors. Using a case study design, I looked at the role of the greater school environment, peers, and adults. Six adolescent members and seven adult leaders of the focus SBYD program took part in this study. Data were collected through a combination of participant-created sociograms, interviews, and participant observations and analyzed using thematic analysis. This work was informed by intersectionality, the SBYD framework, the framework of peer experiences, and the peer influence model. The findings of this research centered on eight themes and indicate the intertwined nature of the school context and the program: the greater school climate of low expectations and aggression, surveillance, obstruction, relationship issues, an ego-oriented climate, adult involvement, and perceptions of the program overall. study is significant because of the focus on greater environment surrounding the program, the focus on the interconnections on a singular SBYD group, and the addition it makes to the literature with the voices of Black and Hispanic girls.
... Youth are most likely to become engaged in their communities when they are knowledgeable about issues and methods for action, and when they are asked by someone to join an organization or attend a meeting; similar to the format in which youth became involved in this project [16]. Importantly, after-school programs can be important contexts for adolescent development, particularly among youth of color and low-income youth [17]. As research into youth's experiences with these activities increases, evidence suggests that the type of engagement, the intensity, duration, and multiple socioeconomic differences effect development outcomes [18]. ...
... As research into youth's experiences with these activities increases, evidence suggests that the type of engagement, the intensity, duration, and multiple socioeconomic differences effect development outcomes [18]. Youth identified three valuable features of such programs: supportive relationships with adults and peers, safety, and opportunities to learn [17]. These contributions are particularly important for minoritized youth in under-resourced communities, as previous studies have found that youth participatory research that engages minority youth in poor communities in research regarding health in their own communities can be particularly successful, offsetting substandard education with opportunities for positive youth development [19]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Youth can be valuable partners in community health improvement efforts. Latino youth from Lawrence, MA were engaged in research and health promotion over an 11-month period. Utilizing their knowledge of the community, youth assessed local parks and carried out evidence-based health promotion efforts to communicate community resources to encourage physical activity, nurture community ownership of parks, and advocate for park improvements. Health promotion efforts can engage youth in strategies to address critical public health issues by leveraging their unique perspective and distinct location within communities. The communications developed by the youth were distributed within the community, benefiting residents directly. Youth were motivated to engage in the project by a sense of civic obligation, and upon completing the project, they expressed that they had gained research and communication skills and were inspired to continue to support their community. Youth engagement in applied research and health promotion at the local level can provide a foundation for community health improvement efforts that are relevant for distinct communities, while fostering the positive development of youth, and nurturing community-driven efforts to help create a healthier environment.
... The results were consistent with earlier qualitative studies suggesting that youth-directed activity engenders feelings of engagement and safety (Hirsch, 2005;Perkins et al., 2007). Strobel et al. (2008) and Whitlock (2007) showed that safety and trust are not only products of active care and concern by adults, but also result when youth have high perceived levels of efficacy in making important choices about their programs. When youth feel that their views and opinions are respected by adults, youth are more inclined to feel that they belong (Mitra, 2004). ...
... This study replicates these findings in a unique Southeast Asian country context where youth development is prioritized, but cultural practices often present challenges to youth empowerment (Stivens, 2020). In line with past studies on youth-adult partnership in Malaysian afterschool and community-based youth programs Zeldin et al., 2016), youth voice predicted positive youth development and that the relationship was partially mediated when youth's psychological engagement in program activities was enhanced (Strobel et al., 2008). This finding adds to the growing body of evidence that the practice of youth voice and acting affirmatively on proximal environments can influence developmental outcomes, particularly when young people are able to participate on their own terms and contribute to group decisions (Serido et al., 2011;Ramey et al., 2018). ...
Article
Full-text available
Growth mindset and grit have attracted much attention in educational research recently. Yet the underlying mechanisms that relate these variables to each other as well as to other variables remain largely unclear. This study investigates the relationships among growth mindset, learning motivations, and grit. We recruited a total of 1,842 students (884 males and 958 females) from third to ninth grade in a Chinese city. Results from the structural equation model analyzing the students' responses showed that learning motivations partially mediate the relationship between growth mindset and grit. Specifically, intrinsic motivation and identified regulation of extrinsic motivation are positively associated with growth mindset and grit, while external regulation of extrinsic motivation is negatively associated with them. Additionally, introjected regulation of extrinsic motivation is uncorrelated with these two variables. This study furthers the understanding of the underlying mechanisms through which growth mindset and grit positively impact education.
... The first is that Y-AP is difficult to implement with quality. Many adults do not have the skill or inclination to share decision making authority with youth and rarely are societal norms and institutions designed to support Y-AP (Camino and Zeldin 2002;Strobel et al. 2008). The second challenge is one of conceptualization and measurement. ...
... Youth have become increasingly segregated from nonfamilial adults in the social and civic spheres of community life worldwide (Bronfenbrenner 1970;Call et al. 2002;Modell and Goodman 1990;Schlegel and Barry 1991). Community-based youth programs are perhaps the most effective developmental context for intergenerational participation (Strobel et al. 2008). They can provide free spaces where young people can imagine possibilities, debate options, take on responsible social roles, and collaborate with adult residents and community workers. ...
Article
Full-text available
Youth participation in program and community decision making is framed by scholars as an issue of social justice, a platform for positive youth development and effective citizenry, and a strategy for nation building. Recent literature reviews have consistently identified youth-adult partnership (Y-AP) as an effective type of youth participation across highly diverse contexts. These same reviews, however, note that indicators of Y-AP have not been conceptualized and validated for measurement purposes. The present study addresses this limitation by developing a brief measure of Y-AP that is explicitly grounded in current theory, research, and community practice. The measure was administered to youth in the United States, Malaysia, and Portugal (N = 610). Validation was assessed through factor analysis and tests of factorial, discriminant, and concurrent validity. Results confirmed the two predicted dimensions of the Y-AP measure: youth voice in decision making and supportive adult relationships. These two dimensions were also found to be distinct from other measures of program quality: safety and engagement. As predicted, they also significantly correlated with measures of agency and empowerment. It is concluded that the measure has the potential to support community efforts to maximize the quality of youth programs.
... Tanto adolescentes, como familiares y los propios educadores reconocen la fuerza que tiene la confianza que establecen entre ellos. Este aspecto aparece como un elemento crucial para mantener el interés y la asistencia (Strobel & Kirshner, 2008). Los tres grupos hablan sobre la comunicación y el diálogo, la relación horizontal y la empatía que crean un clima de respeto y confianza en el grupo. ...
Article
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This article presents some preliminary data of a research about a group of teenager´s participation (12-17 years-old) in a community project. It is based on a wider research project which, during two years (2013-15), has used an ethnographic approach to understand teenager´s daily experiences in that community project and the generated process through their interaction with peers and the educational team. The purpose of this article is to identify drivers and barriers that different agents perceive for participating in the community project. To this end, initial results are gathered in three discussion groups: adolescents who have a background on the organization (for at least 3 years) and high level of commitment related to a “projective type of participation” (Llena, Novella, Trilla, Noguera, Morata & Morell, 2015); their families and adult workers. Preliminary results of participant observation in the advisory group (22 hours) and assemblies (10 hours) of the community are also incorporated. Data analysis shows that there are three principal drivers to participate: the profile of the adolescents and their families, the relationships they established with the educational team and their awareness of learning. Regarding obstacles, there are other three aspects: participants’ lack of interest on the available opportunities, their stage of life and their expectations.
... Researchers and practitioners have recently begun to recognize the importance of exploring the perspectives of participants in this social setting (Dworkin, Larson & Hansen, 2003;Strobel, Kirshner, O'Donoghue & McLaughlin, 2008). However, the main focus of this empirical research has been on the developmental outcomes and processes of youth programs. ...
... Several of the reasons that led to membership in YPP, as described by Naomi and DeMarcus, are echoed in findings from other studies that have examined the factors that contribute participation in community or school-based activities. These included friend endorsements of the afterschool activities (Huebner & Mancini, 2003), activities found to be fun as motivation for participation (Gambone & Arbreton, 1997), opportunities to learn (Strobel, Kirshner, & McLaughlin, 2008), and the acquisition of new skills and involvement in the community (Perkins et al., 2007). Also in accord with McLaughlin's (2000) findings, youth that participated in afterschool programs in urban settings wanted to participate in something greater than themselves. ...
... Viewing youth as mere recipients of program activities and operating programs in isolation from other community processes is insufficient and ineffective for dealing with pressing social problems in urban areas (Hirsch, Deutsch, & DuBois, 2011;Urban, 2008). Nurturing youth's developmental pathways and citizenship calls for more responsive, engaged, and community-integrated activities (Mahoney, Larson, & Eccles, 2005;Strobel, Kirshner, O'Donoghue, & McLaughlin, 2008). ...
... The report, as well as other research on Black children's participation in afterschool programs (Hynes and Sanders 2011), also found that Black students were twice as likely to participate in an afterschool program as their White counterparts. This higher likelihood of OST program attendance for Black youth is important because frequent attendance and participation in high quality OST programs have been shown to be positively associated with improved academic outcomes, self-esteem, interpersonal skills, initiative, communication, leadership, and connection to community for their participants (Strobel et al. 2008). Moreover, studies have shown that many Black youth who participate in OST programs experience improvements in academic performance, school conduct, and peer relations, as well as decreases in teen pregnancy, juvenile arrests, and drug activity (Halpern 2003;Lauer et al. 2006;Woodland 2008). ...
Article
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Outside of school time (OST) programs are playing an increasingly prominent role in the lives of youth, particularly Black children. Because many schools are not meeting the social, cultural, and academic needs of Black students, the ability of OST programs to support students in these areas is essential. Ladson-Billings (The dreamkeepers: successful teachers of African American children, 2nd edn. Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, 2009) conceptualized three central tenets of culturally relevant pedagogy, a theoretical framework designed to describe instructional practices inside of school that are relevant to, aligned with, and responsive to Prek-12 students. In this paper, the authors build on a tenet of Ladson-Billings’ (2009) culturally relevant pedagogy framework, sociopolitical consciousness (SPC), to make sense of how OST programs can develop instructional practices that build students’ knowledge and understandings of injustices in their communities and work to change them. The authors discuss how youths’ development of SPC can be fostered and operationalized through pedagogy in OST programs. The authors conclude with recommendations that could potentially contribute to a pedagogy of SPC in OST programs.
... Scholars who take a positive youth development perspective ask, "What features of structured outside-of-school time foster youth development?" Rather than looking at outside-of-school programs in terms of academic achievement, they look at how programs challenge and support young people to develop emotionally, socially, culturally, and intellectually and as responsible citizens (Barton, Watkins, & Jarjoura, 1997;Finn & Checkoway, 1995;Pittman & Cahill, 1991;Strobel, Kirshner, O'Donoghue, & McLaughlin, 2008). In her comprehensive review of learning in informal learning environments, Vadeboncoeur (2010) lays out the multiple ways in which a wide range of outside-of-school programs provide a much-needed service to society by giving young people the moral, social, and practical experiences they need to take the country and the world forward. ...
Article
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Public schools historically have been the primary institution responsible for preparing young people for participation in a democratic society. However, the almost exclusive focus by today’s schools on knowledge and skills hinders their ability to be environments that support overall development and to produce the kinds of flexible, creative, and critical citizens that are needed to continuously create and recreate democracy. This review of the literature reframes the topic of democracy and education so as to address the relationship between democracy and development specific to youth development. In so doing, it adds practices by and findings from outside-of-school youth development programs to the dialogue on democracy. The review of outside-of-school programs is framed by a conceptualization of development as a dialectical, social, and creative activity, arguing that environments promoting this kind of development are necessary if we are to further democratize our culture.
... Given the limited work on these issues in organized activities, mixed-methods approaches might be particularly fruitful for theory generation and testing. For example, research on the characteristics of community-based programs that have an established track record for retaining ethnic minority youth may be particularly informative to understanding optimal practices for youth from various groups defined by macro factors (Kauh, 2010;McLaughlin, 2000;Stroebel, Kirshner, O'Donoghue, & McLaughlin, 2008). ...
Article
Abstract— Youth participation in organized after-school activities provides opportunities for positive growth and development. Unfortunately, ethnic minority youth, especially those living in low-income communities, participate in these activities at lower rates and less consistently than nonminority youth. This article reviews the research on the academic, psychological, and behavioral outcomes of participation in organized activities for African American and Latino youth. Second, it highlights individual and contextual factors associated with these youth’s initial and ongoing participation. It concludes by outlining the gaps in the literature on ethnic minority youth and articulates areas that require additional theory and research.
... Aaron's story is important as it illustrates not just how youth workers can emphasise preventing exclusion but also how this can be restrictive In terms of establishing the types of relationship with adults that having the most lasting impact on young people. This impact is described byStrobel et al (2008) who argue that youth work organisations which focus on developing a collaborative or dialogical relationship between young people and adults have the most positive effect on young people's life development. According to these commentators a key problem faced by young people is that their Interactions with adults are constrained to fit in a particular relation of power (for example Interactions with parents or teachers). ...
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Youth work, as a form of engaging young people "in which the participation of young people is voluntary and the aims are broadly educational" (Harrison and Wise (eds.), 2009: 1) has been positioned as an inherently ethical practice (see: Sercombe, 1998; National Youth Agency, 1999). However, what makes youth work ethical and what constitutes ethical youth work is currently the subject of some debate. At present, two broad, overlapping schools of thought exist: that youth work is made ethical by the fact that the procedures within it are more equitable and fairer (Young, 1999; NYA, 1999); or that youth work is made ethical by the fact that it holds the young person as its primary constituent, receiving its 'mandate' directly from them (Sercombe, 1998; 2010). To this debate I would like to provide an alternative model of ethics which focuses on the potential to disrupt unequal relations of power and unsettle discourse. In doing so I will be able to highlight the existent possibilities for and limitations on the production of an ethical youth work practice. This model is drawn from a Foucauldian reading of ethics. Foucauldian ethics focuses on the capacity of the subject to disrupt discourse and challenge power relations. Applying this Foucauldian ethics, the thesis explores what about youth work creates openings for the subject to disrupt discourse. These openings, I argue, are rooted in the ambiguity of the discourse of youth work. This ambiguity is the result of the production of youth work discourse by multiple, contradictory understandings of youth, adulthood and 'good' youth-adult relations. These manifest in the varying sub-discourses of positive youth work co-existent within the overarching youth work discourse. Using evidence from policy textwork and ethnographic fieldwork at a youth club in Nottingham (Urban Youth) I illustrate how the co-existence of these understandings renders the subject-positions and subject-functions of youth workers and young people in youth work discourse ambiguous. As such what constitutes positive youth work, a 'good' youth worker and the dimensions of positive youth worker-young person relationships is unclear. Because of this ambiguity, openings for critical reflection and disassembling of the subject (what Foucault considers as the epitome of being ethical) emerge.
... Previous research purports that youth's experience of trust in caring relationships with programme leaders is a critical contributor to programme outcomes (Strobel, Kirshner, O'Donoghue, & Wallin McLaughlin, 2008;Vandell, Larson, Mahoney, & Watts, 2015). Semi-structured interviews in this study mirrored results from quantitative analysis, and provided youth accounts of how Leader 1 was able to facilitate a higher quality programme related to psychological safety. ...
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Researchers outline the importance of understanding features that enhance quality within youth programmes. One feature is youth’s basic psychological needs support. The purpose of this study was to examine if differences existed between two leaders in delivery of one youth leadership programme related to programme quality and needs support. A mixed-methods approach was employed. Programme quality was assessed quantitatively from researchers' observations. Youth self-reported on needs support and participated in semi-structured interviews. Results indicated significant differences on programme quality with Leader 1 rating higher on safe and supportive environment than Leader 2. Youth perceived Leader 1 as more effective than Leader 2 in providing a psychologically safe environment and fostering needs support. Implications and future directions are discussed.
... Achievement/EngagementThis construct is focused on youth's development of basic skills related to academic and navigating certain academic networks. a,b,cHansen et al., 2003;b Strobel, Kirshner, O'Donoghue, & McLaughlin, 2008;c Harkness et al., 2011;d Rodriguez, Morrobel, & Villarruel, 2013. ...
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The limited understanding on why Latino parents endorse organized activities is problematic given that these beliefs can help elucidate why they overcome barriers to support their children’s participation. In this study, we analyzed interviews from a diverse group of 34 Mexican-origin parents who resided in Arizona. Results of the study indicate that although organized activities were perceived as contexts that can help youth gain skills reflecting mainstream American values (e.g., school engagement, interpersonal skills), parents also thought that activities promoted positive behaviors associated with their ethnic culture based on traditional values related to respeto, familism, and religiosity. The implications of this study suggest that understanding Mexican-origin parents’ perspectives can help organized activity leaders design programs that fully address the benefits that families seek from organized activities.
... A key component of a supportive youthadult relationship is interpersonal trust. Program participants value being able to trust youth program leaders (Halpern, Barker, & Mollard, 2000;Halpern, 2006;Hirsch et al., 2000;Hirsch, Deutsch, & DuBois, 2011;Strobel, Kirshner, O'Donoghue, & McLaughlin, 2008). Research suggests that an adolescent's trust in a program leader enhances the positive impact of experiences they have in the youth program context (Griffith & Larson, 2015). ...
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Two topics commonly referenced within theories of Positive Youth Development (PYD) are supportive relationships with adults and the youth program context. This paper examines the trajectory of youth’s trusting relationships with adults at project-based programs. High-school-age youth at 7 arts, leadership, and technology programs retrospectively constructed graphical representations of their trust in a youth program leader across time. When coupled with interview data, analysis of the 48 graphs that youth constructed provide a window into the arc of supportive relationships with nonfamilial adults through the words of youth making meaning of their trust in adult leaders over time. The study has theoretical implications for PYD and methodological implications for research on how aspects of PYD change over time.
... This finding mirrors previous research in which youth view themselves as a collective group by sharing personal experiences during group conversations (Pearce & Larson, 2006). In addition, Strobel, Kirshner, O'Donoghue, & McLaughlin (2008) found that supportive and more casual relationships with program staff members were critical for promoting continued program participation. ...
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Participants in the Looking Out for the Youth (L.O.F.T.Y) Crew, a sexual-health youth leadership council, reported and exhibited high engagement within the program. Understanding program characteristics that contribute to engagement is important because engagement is associated with positive outcomes for youth and program sustainability. According to self-determination theory (Ryan & Deci, 2000), programs that meet youth’s needs for autonomy, relatedness, and competence are more likely to facilitate sustained engagement. This qualitative study examined youth perceptions about the components of the program that contributed to engagement. We conducted focus group and interviews with L.O.F.T.Y Crew participants (N=42). With self-determination theory as a framework, we analyzed the data using a directed content analysis approach. Our analyses yielded five themes related to program engagement: ownership, youth voice, meaningful peer connection, adults as mentors, and increased knowledge and skills. Overall, the results provide support for self-determination theory. Importantly, by identifying specific action steps that can be implemented to increase youth engagement, this qualitative study can help practitioners translate theory to action.
... Data from Young Creatives and STEM Mentoring suggest that both programmes embodied features of high-quality programming identified in the literature ( National Research Council, 2002 ;McLaughlin, 2000 ;Strobel, Kirshner, McLaughlin, & O'Donoghue, 2008 ). This similarity puts into relief the differences we observed across the two sites in young people's accounts about pursuing desired futures in creative industries or science. ...
... Here, it is clear that the relationship fostered between students at EE and youth workers is valuable for students and their families as they navigate complicated and sometimes highly unfair school systems. Consistent with research literature about youth in community-based settings, meaningful and authentic relationship building between youth workers and youth is important social networks that fosters youth agency (Ginwright, 2007;Strobel, Kirshner, O'Donoghue, & McLaughlin, 2008;Woodland, Martin, Hill, & Worrell, 2009). ...
Article
The current educational market nestled in neoliberal and market-based reform efforts has shifted the nature of public education. Community-based educational spaces are also shaped within this context. As such, given the political and educational climate youth workers are situated in, their role as advocates, cultural workers, and pedagogues warrants greater exploration within educational scholarship. Although previous scholarship captures the significance of community-based youth workers in the lives of marginalized youth, their voices and experiences are absent from broader educational discourse. Subsequently, community-based youth workers’ relationship with schools, engagement with youth, and their pedagogical practices remain underutilized and undervalued.
... Abdel had not imagined for a moment that he could have an education, as he considered himself 'stupid in his head' and not until his internship was finished and it 'went well', did he dare to consider enrolling on a course. In addition to Abdel's stories about his experiences with the pedagogues are several international studies associated with leisure and youth clubs located in socially deprived housing areas describing relationships with staff as being key to youths' attachments to after-school programmes (Deutsch and Jones, 2008;Hirsch, 2005;Petersen and Sørensen, 2021;Strobel, Kirshner and Mclaughlin, 2008). The club-as-home model, in which youths develop an emotional attachment to an organisation, driven primarily by psychosocial aspects of the place, points to how relationships can contribute to an overarching socio-emotional experience for youngsters. ...
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This article gives an analysis of social pedagogical work in leisure and youth clubs, physically located in so-called socially deprived housing areas in Denmark. The pedagogical work is especially aimed at young boys of ethnic minority background. The article draws on empirical research from a project exploring leisure and youth clubs’ impact on children and young people’s well-being and opportunities for development when growing up in socially deprived housing areas. The social pedagogical work seems very closely related to societal issues moving into the pedagogical everyday life of the leisure and youth clubs. These clubs, besides embracing the children and young people’s active leisure life in communities with other children and young people, are thus also instrumental in helping and supporting the children and young people to cope with an everyday life that features experiences of stigmatising and inequality-shaped living conditions. The social pedagogical work is analysed from the perspectives of the pedagogues and young people, taking their point of view to what seems particularly significant to the well-being and development of the young people based on Scandinavian-German critical psychology. This is integrated with Paulo Freire’s notion of hope and empowerment, which is the analytical framework within the context of social pedagogical work concerned with how the young men develop belief in themselves for them to complete their education, get a job in after-school hours and refrain from involvement in crime and gang-related communities.
... Spaces were considered safe that felt familiar, were frequented by others who shared youth's values and interests, were violence-free, and offered a positive sense of community. Similar to prior scholarship (e.g., Hirsch, 2005;Strobel, Kirshner, O'Donoghue, & McLaughlin, 2008), we clearly found that youth centers play a vital role in the lives of urban youth of color by offering safe spaces with opportunities to build connections with others. Furthermore, these spaces tended to be more unstructured in nature, as seen through the drop-in style of the youth centers. ...
Article
Through civic engagement, adolescents can increase community vitality, challenge injustices, and address social problems. Positive youth development (PYD) theory and research has generated knowledge of ecological assets (resources and supports in everyday environments) that foster youth civic engagement. Yet, assets and opportunities are not equally available to all youth. Youth of color in urban high‐poverty neighborhoods merit more concerted attention in research on civic development to inform theory, policy, and practice. A primary goal of this monograph is to broaden academic and public discourse about what civic engagement looks like and how it develops for urban youth of color who live in high‐poverty neighborhoods. We conducted one time, face‐to‐face interviews and brief quantitative surveys with 87 youth of color (90% Black and Black multiracial; 59.8% male; ages 12–19) recruited from five youth centers in Rochester, New York, from 2015 to 2016. Interviews elicited youth's perspectives on how they define and experience civic engagement, community problems, connections and discussions to community, and adult supports. We used an inductive qualitative methodology. In Chapter I, we review what is known about civic engagement among urban youth of color. We lay out evidence for ecological assets that support youth civic engagement, aligned with a PYD perspective, and articulate ways to expand beyond PYD to understand youth empowerment and urban contexts. In Chapter II, we summarize national and local contexts that may shape the experiences of urban youth of color in our study. To set the stage for the empirical chapters that follow, we describe our sample, study design, and methodology. In Chapter III, we examine how urban youth of color in Rochester experience community violence and discuss the implications of these experiences for civic development. Youth articulated violence as a serious community problem and powerfully discussed frequent, personal, direct and indirect exposures to violence. Due to fear and lack of safety, some youth strategically disconnected from community and relationships and experienced disempowerment. Others reacted to violence with a tendency toward self‐protection. For some, community violence was a catalyst for civic action. In Chapter IV, we investigate how youth defined and experienced civic engagement. Youth's civic participation spanned helping community, engaging politically, participating in school or community organizations, engaging in social and leisure activities, and taking personal responsibility. Youth's civic actions were largely informal and localized. Some civic participation was contextualized as a response to community violence, such as intervening to protect peers from harm. Some youth were not civically engaged. In Chapter V, we map out what civic empowerment looks like for these youth and how civic empowerment links to civic action. Supporting prior theory, we found evidence for emotional, relational, and cognitive dimensions of civic empowerment and experiences of civic disempowerment. Emotional empowerment was most closely aligned with civic action, although any expressions of civic empowerment suggest youth are developing building blocks for civic participation. In Chapter VI, we investigate ecological assets that support youth's civic development. Safe community spaces such as youth centers provided familiarity and comfort, opportunities to forge connections with others, and places to help and be helped. Adults supported youth by enabling youth to feel heard, not judging them, serving as role models, and offering guidance and support. Youth were equally articulate about how adults fail to support or empower them. We conclude that some assets generally support positive development and others specifically foster civic development. In Chapter VII, we integrate findings across chapters into a conceptual model of four distinct pathways of civic development. We systematically examined differences among youth who are disengaged, personally responsible, safely engaged, and broadly engaged. All pathways are adaptive, and youth found different ways to navigate community violence and other adversities. As summarized in Chapter VIII, our study informs theory and future research on civic engagement among urban youth of color in contexts of adversity. We put forward four important elements needed for theory of civic development to be relevant for urban youth of color. Then we offer policy and practice recommendations: (a) investment in safe spaces and violence‐reduction policies should be a top priority; (b) youth should be involved in decision‐making about solutions to issues of concern to them; (c) civic engagement programs and opportunities should center on local issues and allow for multiple forms of engagement; (d) all youth should be heard and taken seriously by the adults in their lives.
... Data from Young Creatives and STEM Mentoring suggest that both programmes embodied features of high-quality programming identified in the literature ( National Research Council, 2002 ;McLaughlin, 2000 ;Strobel, Kirshner, McLaughlin, & O'Donoghue, 2008 ). This similarity puts into relief the differences we observed across the two sites in young people's accounts about pursuing desired futures in creative industries or science. ...
... Foremost, it is noteworthy that different predictors were associated with organizational and community engagement. In line with previous studies, youth perceptions of safety in their own association seemed to maximize engagement (Strobel, Kirshner, O'Donoghue, & McLaughlin, 2008;Zeldin et al., 2016), but safety was not linked to community engagement. Instead, the most salient predictors were the availability of adult support (Evans, 2007;Scheve, Perkins, & Mincemoyer, 2006), social networks (Arnold, Dolenc, & Wells, 2008;Zeldin, 2004), and having opportunities to contribute (Iwasaki, Springett, Dashora, McLaughlin, & McHugh, 2014). ...
Article
Youth organizations often face challenges in reaching their potential as places of empowerment and engagement for youth development. While evidence-based practices of how organizations foster youth engagement exist, there are few replicable models or conceptual frameworks that cross-cut these different practices. The purpose of this multi-level, mixed methods study was to gain insight into how youth associations become empowering settings for youth engagement. Grounded in the theoretical perspective of empowered community settings, we sought to explore the links between national youth policy, the creation of empowering settings and youth engagement. Our focus was on Malaysia and its national network of youth associations. In Phase 1 of the study, thematic analysis of major policy documents revealed that Malaysian youth policy creates a shared belief system for the country’s youth associations according to three core themes: empowerment is intertwined with community capacity building; safety and inclusivity are paramount; and members are expected to be both teachers and learners as ‘partners in development’. In Phase 2, in-depth interviews with youth association leaders (N = 22; M age = 28; 68% male) highlighted the importance of a relational environment that includes opportunities to build social capital with adults and peers. The associations’ opportunity role structure further allows youth leaders to exercise voice in making decisions that mold the associations’ programs and allow the leaders to pass on knowledge and skills to younger members. In Phase 3, building on the findings from the first two study phases, a survey of regular association members (N = 262) indicated that safety and opportunities for personal growth predicted organizational engagement. For community engagement, as members moved outside of the confines of the organization and participated in community work, opportunities for personal growth remained central to engagement with social capital and adult support taking on additional importance. The study provides an initial conceptualization of best practices that link national policy and organizational leadership to participant engagement in youth associations.
... Data from Young Creatives and STEM Mentoring suggest that both programmes embodied features of high-quality programming identified in the literature ( National Research Council, 2002 ;McLaughlin, 2000 ;Strobel, Kirshner, McLaughlin, & O'Donoghue, 2008 ). This similarity puts into relief the differences we observed across the two sites in young people's accounts about pursuing desired futures in creative industries or science. ...
... Many youth participants valued the close relationships they formed with case managers at FG. Their descriptions of these relationships echo the literature on high-quality youth programs, in which young people regard adults as trustworthy and approachable fi gures who care about their lives beyond school. 19 One participant, when asked to describe FG staff, fi rst described the academic support that her FG case manager provided, such as keeping her informed about deadlines for homework assignments and tests. Then she added, "It feels really kind of . . . ...
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Students from underrepresented groups who seek to become the first in their family to attend college confront economically and racially stratified education systems. This article reports findings from an evaluation of First Graduate, an organization that offers college advising, mentoring, tutoring, and case management to first-generation students starting in seventh grade. We highlight three systems that youth say they encountered on their pathway to college: open enrollment, course taking, and college admissions. We describe how youth navigated these systems and the roles that adults played in support. Our conclusion discusses implications for how after-school programs can support first-generation students.
... Youth programs and other informal learning contexts are settings that may be particularly ripe for adults to build youth's trust over time. Youth tend to describe programs as having a relational climate, being "less teacher-centered," serving as an "emotionally safe space," providing a place to be autonomous, and existing as a space to talk (Deutsch & Jones, 2008;O'Donoghue & Strobel, 2007;Strobel, Kirshner, O'Donoghue, & McLaughlin, 2008). Youth have been found to perceive adults in informal learning contexts as respectful, interested in them, caring, and genuine (Garn et al., 2014;Vaclavik, Sánchez, Buehler, Gray, & Rodriguez, 2017). ...
Article
A program leader's ability to build trust with youth is critical in effective project-based programs that serve as interventions to support skill development. However, there is little empirical research on the trust-building process from the perspective of leaders. The current study explores trust-building through semi-structured interviews with twenty-five leaders from thirteen project-based programs serving high-school-age youth. Constant comparative analytic strategies identified four primary approaches to building trust: (1) respecting youth; (2) building rapport with youth; (3) being consistent; and (4) occupying a nuanced adult role in youth's lives. Despite facing some challenges to building trust, leaders believed they had successfully built trust when youth engaged in specific behaviors. These behavioral indicators of trust were: (a) youth asking more from leaders on their work or challenges in their personal life; (b) youth sharing more with leaders on their opinions, thoughts, or feelings; and (c) youth communicating they were willing to support the program's mission by going above and beyond program expectations. We conclude by discussing the theoretical implications of the findings and the practical implications as they relate to the youth development field.
... El foco en centros y aulas no ha sido preeminente en este terreno del abandono y el desenganche, predominando enfoques de investigación más centrados en los estudiantes individuales y sus características o en sus entornos socioculturales, familiares y económicos, que en los marcos escolares en los que discurre su experiencia educativa. Aunque más escasa, tal investigación ha evidenciado que diversas dimensiones y dinámicas de funcionamiento curricular y organizativo de los centros educativos estarían en la raíz de porqué ciertos estudiantes, ante una experiencia escolar que no les resulta significativa ni satisface sus necesidades e intereses, fracasan e, incluso, abandonan (Aristimuño y Parodi, 2017;Bond et al., 2007;Escudero y Martínez, 2012;González, 2015b;Knesting, 2008;McMahon et al., 2012;Morentin y Ballesteros, 2018;Salvà, Trobat, y Forgas, 2014;Seguedin, 2012;Strobel et al., 2008); igualmente, ha puesto de manifiesto cómo distintas razones aducidas por los estudiantes para justificar su desenganche están relacionadas con la experiencia educativa que le ofrece el propio centro escolar: modos en que están estructuradas las clases, el aburrimiento en ellas y la escasa actividad práctica, las escuetas o tirantes relaciones con los profesores, el currículo al que se enfrentan, el clima rígido y punitivo, la falta de apoyo, y un largo etcétera (p. ej., Mills y Mcgregor, 2010). ...
Article
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El desenganche de ciertos estudiantes con el aprendizaje escolar está estrechamente relacionado con el absentismo, el abandono temprano y las consecuencias educativas y socio-laborales que lo acompañan. Para contrarrestarlo, se promueven y desarrollan diversas medidas y programas. El artículo ofrece una visión panorámica de estas "buenas prácticas" documentadas por la investigación. Para ello se ha realizado una revisión de bibliografía de investigación en la última década sobre programas de reenganche y orientada a paliar el abandono. Los resultados indican que la atención y el cultivo de climas relacionales de respeto y cuidado, un currículo relevante y significativo, dinámicas de enseñanza centradas en los estudiantes, cuidada relación con otras entidades de la comunidad, coordinación y colaboración entre profesionales, flexibilidad de programas, tiempos, espacios y estructuras son, entre otras, prácticas prometedoras para trabajar con alumnado desenganchado y en riesgo de abandono. El conocimiento sobre rasgos de calidad que caracterizan a las prácticas de reenganche documentadas como exitosas en términos de posibilitar la persistencia y evitar abandonos, constituye un referente relevante de cara a analizar programas existentes y cómo discurren en la práctica, y plantear mejoras que alteren rutinas y modos de hacer asentados, que están en la raíz de procesos de desenganche. Descriptores: Deserción escolar; Práctica pedagógica; Relación estudiante-escuela; Programas de educación; Educación. The student disengagement is closely related to early school dropout and its educational, social and labour consequences. The measures and programs aiming to counteract this problem are diverse. This paper offers an overview of those good practices that are documented in the research literature. To do so, it has been made a literature revision of research from the last decade about programs and measures to relieve the school dropout. The results shown cultivating a respectful and caring atmosphere, a relevant and meaningful curriculum, student-centered teaching practices, a close relationship with other organizations in the community, the professional coordination a collaboration as well as program, timetables, spaces and organizational flexibility are, among others, some promising practices for working with disengaged and at-risk students. Knowledge about quality features of reengagement programs that are documented by the research as successful at favoring the persistence and preventing school dropout are a reference to analyze the current programs and their implementation, and to suggest improvements aimed to modify established routines that lie at the root of school disengagement.
... The analysis presented below focuses on school-based extracurricular activities. This distinction is important when assessing differences by race, class, gender, and age because of cost, access, and cultural differences between school and nonschool settings (Strobel et al. 2008). For example, the fact that social class differences exist in out-of-school activities is not surprising as it takes more resources to enroll in these activities. ...
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Extracurricular activity participation is linked to positive development, but it is also a setting for inequality. Using a quarter century of data from Monitoring the Future (N = 593,979; 51% female; 65% non-Hispanic white; 13% non-Hispanic black; 12% Hispanic; 4% non-Hispanic Asian/Pacific Islander; 7% other race), this article documents patterns and trends in school-based extracurricular participation by race, social class, gender, and age, and their links to academic and substance use outcomes. Findings reveal differences by race and confirm a division by social class that has worsened over time. Further, girls are gaining on boys and surpass them in some types of school-based activities. Participation is linked to better academic outcomes and less substance use, affirming the importance of redressing the inequalities revealed.
... increasing desire for independence while also keeping them connected to the program. Studies suggest that two strategies may be key to keeping middle school students engaged: (1) allow young people to have a voice in decision-making and (2) create more egalitarian relationships between adolescents and program staff (Deschenes et al., 2010;Ginwright & James, 2002;Grossman & Bulle, 2006;Hansen & Larson, 2007;Strobel, Kirshner, O'Donoghue, & McLaughlin, 2008). We decided to explore these strategies by increasing opportunities for youth-led research at the Bridge Project. ...
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This pilot study explored the impact of a Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR) project on early adolescents’ perceptions of youth voice and adult support in an after school program (ASP).
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Using multilevel data from the national evaluation of Boys and Girls Clubs of America (BGCA), this study examined associations among programmatic structures, workplace and workforce characteristics, and relational practices of program staff as they relate to young people's ratings of their experience attending local clubs. The sample included 57,710 members and 5,231 staff members at 740 BGCA sites throughout the United States. Staff relational practices—including establishing caring relationships, setting high expectations, positive behavior management, encouraging youth input and agency, and cultural sensitivity—explained associations between staffing and organizational functioning and youths’ perceptions of the quality of their clubs. Findings suggest a central role of staff relational practices in establishing conditions that youth experience positively, and that staffing and organizational processes, including community engagement and teamwork and efficiency can be viewed as foundations for establishing a culture of positive adult‐youth interaction, which in turn can contribute to the promotion of positive youth development. Further, identification with the experiences of youth had a direct association with youths’ perceptions of club quality. These results underscore the importance of staff workforce development initiatives as key to improving youth experiences in after‐school programs.
Article
Objectives: This narrative systematic review explored (1) how neighbourhood interventions promote positive youth development (PYD) and (2) the role of context for these interventions. We asked: How do neighbourhood interventions become effective in promoting PYD for adolescents aged 12-18 years? Methods: Articles (n = 19) were analyzed using a framework integrating standards of health promotion evaluation and elements of the ecological systems perspective. Results: First, results highlight the key characteristics of interventions that promote PYD. An intervention's atmosphere encouraging supportive relationships and an intervention's activities aiming to build skills and that are real and challenging promoted PYD elements including cognitive competences, confidence, connection, leadership, civic engagement, and feelings of empowerment. Secondly, this review identified facilitators (e.g. partnerships and understanding of the community) and constraints (e.g. funding and conflicts) to an intervention's integration within its context. Conclusions: Results regarding interventions' characteristics promoting PYD confirm findings from past reviews. Our findings indicate that context is an important element of effective interventions. This review encourages future evaluations to analyze the role of context to build a better understanding of its role.
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Although youth advisory structures (YASs) have proliferated internationally to facilitate the voice of young people, little is known about the practices of such groups, especially in the United States. To address this gap of knowledge, this study describes the findings of a scoping review of scholarly research on YAS in the United States. The review found that although the use of YAS is increasing, current scholarship offers little information about YAS processes or how youth are engaged. Most YAS in the review partnered with marginalized young people to inform research and programming around sensitive health topics, such as human immunodeficiency virus prevention. Youth who participated in YAS experienced positive outcomes such as leadership and skill development, healthier decision-making, and confidence. Although most studies involved youth in minimal ways, there is a growing body of literature where youth are engaged in long-term partnerships that support positive youth development. This review details other key characteristics of YAS and provides recommendations for best practices, such as building consensus around terms used to refer to YAS and promoting the dissemination of process details around YAS facilitation.
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Multiracial youth activism groups, based in working class and poor neighborhoods, seek to improve social conditions by organizing grassroots campaigns. Campaigns such as these, which require sophisticated planning, organizing, and advocacy skills, are noteworthy not just for their political impact, but also because of the insights they provide about learning environments outside of school. In this study I adopted Rogoff's (2003) theory of guided participation as a lens through which to analyze adult approaches to working with youth and how these approaches relate to opportunities for youth to participate in social action. Drawing on 2 years of ethnographic fieldwork in 3 multiracial activism groups, I found that adults managed tensions between youth empowerment principles and the task demands of campaigns in 3 distinct ways: facilitation, apprenticeship, and joint work. This analysis is relevant to educators who wish to support youth participation in mature social practices and researchers interested in elective learning environments.
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Research strongly indicates that low-income youth, particularly those of color who are overrepresented in poverty, have lower levels of academic performance than their higher-income peers. It has been suggested that community-based out-of-school programs can play an important role in reducing these academic differences. This study examined the effect of the YMCA High School Youth Institute on the grades, test scores, and school attendance of urban high school youth using a randomly selected matched comparison group. Those involved in the program had significantly higher English-language art and math standardized test scores and somewhat fewer absences than the comparison group. Active program participants had significantly higher academic grade-point averages (GPAs) and math test scores as well as somewhat higher total GPA. The findings suggest that high-quality out-of-school programs can positively influence the academic performance of low-income youth. Implications for practice are discussed.
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The dramatic decline in youth interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) during adolescence, both in the USA and internationally, has been a phenomenon of societal concern for several decades. The Synergies project was launched to help deal with this issue. In this paper, we report findings from the first two years of our longitudinal survey research. We sought to understand the nature of the STEM-related interests of 10-/11-year-old youth living in a single urban community and the factors that seem to influence whether these various dimensions of interest increase, stay the same or diminish over time. We found that interest in three STEM dimensions—earth/space science, life science and technology/engineering—increased significantly for youth between the ages of 10/11 and 11/12 years. In contrast to the increase in STEM interest, there was a decrease in participation rates in a variety of STEM activities for the same individuals over the same time frame. We found no correlations between STEM interest and teacher or leader variables. We also found strong positive correlations between all four STEM dimensions and most of the interest-related variables including STEM knowledge, science relevance and science enjoyment. Collectively, this research provides new insights into the nature and processes of youth STEM interest pathways. We are using this empirical foundation with our community partners to improve practice.
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This case study explores Christopher's (pseudonym) sustained participation in a nonprofit, afterschool community center, as he wrote and recorded music and lyrics in a digital recording studio. It examines the ways in which Christopher, in contrast to his performance in school, was highly participatory and engaged with textual production at the center. In particular, the author explores the purposes and functions that songwriting served for Christopher, and considers the ways in which songwriting functioned for Christopher as a “site for resilience,” or as a space in which he could navigate aspects of his lived experience. Analysis of Christopher's lyrics suggested three major areas of lived experience on which his songs centered: family experiences, peer relations, and issues in his community.
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Semistructured follow-up interviews were conducted with 32 Canadian youth ages 14 to 20years old; 5years prior, these youth had participated in a structured arts program. Given that little is known about the long-term effects of afterschool arts-based programs, interviews took a qualitative approach to delineate adolescents' experiences with the program and their subsequent development. The findings from the qualitative interviews suggest that skill acquisition, positive staff-youth relationships, development of team building, positive peer relationships, a sense of belonging, and program flexibility were pertinent to sustained positive youth development 5years following program completion. This article discusses the importance of follow-up studies and implications for future research and practice.
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While many educators acknowledge the challenges of a curriculum shaped by test preparation, implementing meaningful new teaching strategies can be difficult. Active Learning presents an examination of innovative, interactive teaching strategies that were successful in engaging urban students who struggled with classroom learning. Drawing on rich ethnographic data, the book proposes participatory action research as a viable approach to teaching and learning that supports the development of multiple literacies in writing, reading, research and oral communication. As Wright argues, in connecting learning to authentic purposes and real world consequences, participatory action research can serve as a model for meaningful urban school reform. After an introduction to the history and demographics of the working-class West Coast neighborhood in which the described PAR project took place, the book discusses the "pedagogy of praxis" method and the project’s successful development of student voice, sociopolitical analysis capacities, leadership skills, empowerment and agency. Topics addressed include an analysis and discussion of the youth-driven PAR process, the reactions of student researchers, and the challenges for adults in maintaining youth and adult partnerships. A thought-provoking response to current educational challenges, Active Learning offers both timely implications for educational reform and recommendations to improve school policies and practices.
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This is the complete, full-text version of the print published book from MIT Press (with permission). Paper and Kindle versions are available from MIT Press, Amazon, and other sources. The book presents a framework for assessing informal learning in online communities, museums, after-school programs and similar settings based on an extensive research review and a series of invited meetings to gather expert opinion. Include conclusions and recommendations.
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Each of the previous chapters in this volume breathes life into the first three interrelated principles noted in the introductory chapter. The fourth principle in this volume, attending to possible futures in the present, requires that we, as educators and educational researchers, pay attention to the experiences of children and youth, that we learn from them and with them, and that we mind their present learning opportunities wide awake to the ways in which these are likely to bear on future opportunities.
Article
The present investigation considers the program outcomes of one community youth project, Leadership Excellence Inc., Oakland Freedom Schools. Oakland Freedom Schools are culturally relevant 6-week summer Language Arts enrichment programs for primarily inner-city African American youth aged 5 to 14 years. In this study, 79 African American youth participated. Results indicated that involvement in Oakland Freedom Schools positively influenced racial identity and youth views toward African/African American culture and precepts. The results also indicated an increase in pretest to posttest scores on social skills strategies and future commitment to social action. There were no statistically significant increases in attitudes toward reading and self-concept.
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We evaluated 4 “experience industry” strategies for enhancing the quality of immediate experiences for 4-H youth: theming, adding multisensory experiences, personalizing interactions, and providing memorabilia. These strategies are commonly used by theme parks, restaurants, resorts, attractions, and other experience industry organizations, but their application to youth services is sporadic. 4-H youth (n = 30) participated in a series of 8 outdoor recreation activity sessions. Each activity session, 1 per week for 8 consecutive weeks, was structured using a unique combination of the 4 strategies. Participants completed questionnaires measuring 5 dimensions of experience quality after each activity session. Theme and personalization of experiences were found to significantly increase experience quality.
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Although most individuals pass through adolescence without excessively high levels of "storm and stress," many do experience difficulty. Why? Is there something unique about this developmental period that puts adolescents at risk for difficulty? This article focuses on this question and advances the hypothesis that some of the negative psychological changes associated with adolescent development result from a mismatch between the needs of developing adolescents and the opportunities afforded them by their social environments. It provides examples of how this mismatch develops in the school and in the home and how it is linked to negative age-related changes in early adolescents' motivation and self-perceptions. Ways in which more developmentally appropriate social environments can be created are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Early adolescents'sense of classroom belonging and support-of being liked, respected, and valued by fellow students and by the teacher-was investigated among 353 sixth-, seventh-, and eighth-grade middle school students. Focusing on one academic class, students completed scales of classroom belonging and support, expectancies for success, and intrinsic interest and value; course grades and effort ratings were obtained from English teachers. Each of three belonging/support factors identified by principal components analysis contributed significantly to explaining variance in expectancies and value, with teacher support having the most consistently substantial influence across student subgroups. The strength of association between support and motivation dropped significantly from sixth to eighth grade. Teacher support was more closely related to motivation for girls than for boys. Expectancy was the primary predictor of class effort and grades. These findings underscore the importance of belonging and interpersonal support in fostering academic motivation and achievement.
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Long-standing critiques of large “factory model” high schools and growing evidence for the benefits of small schools, especially for the achievement of low-income and minority students, have stimulated initiatives in many cities to redesign secondary education. This seven-year study of the Coalition Campus Schools Project in New York City documented a unique “birthing” process for new, small schools that were created as part of a network of reform-oriented schools in a context of systemwide reform. The study found that five new schools that were created to replace a failing comprehensive high school produced, as a group, substantially better attendance, lower incident rates, better performance on reading and writing assessments, higher graduation rates, and higher college-going rates than the previous school, despite serving a more educationally disadvantaged population of students. The schools shared a number of design features, detailed in this study, that appeared to contribute to these outcomes. The study also describes successful system-level efforts to leverage these innovations and continuing policy dilemmas influencing the long-term fate of reforms.
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This study used variable- and person-centered data analytic techniques to examine how early adolescents' academic motivation and social-emotional functioning were associated with their self-reported cognitive and behavioral engagement in the middle school classroom. Regression results showed that both motivational and mental health constructs contributed to the prediction of individual differences in classroom engagement. Person-centered analyses revealed between group variation in classroom engagement as a function of differing patterns of motivation and mental health among different subgroups of adolescents. Convergent and complementary information on these subgroups was provided by using two different grouping approaches. Findings are discussed in terms of broad patterns of promise or problems during early adolescence.
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The San Francisco Beacon Initiative (SFBI) has been in effect in the San Francisco Unified School District since 1996. A collaboration of public and private funders, SFBI operates comprehensive after-school programs in six middle schools, one elementary school and one high school. Public/Private Ventures' (P/PV's) evaluation found that SFBI programs consisted of high quality after-school activities, provided young people with important developmental experiences (such as adult support) and prevented declines in school effort (typical among middle school youth). Although the initiative did not explicitly set out to improve young people's academic outcomes, these were also examined. Despite the high quality of the centers' developmental programs, participants showed no academic gains, and the authors conclude that positive developmental experiences are not sufficient for ensuring academic success among youth who are already struggling in school. This report contains nine chapters, structured according to the theory of change. Following an introduction, Chapter 2 describes the theory of change in more detail. Chapter 3 describes the initiative as a whole, and Chapter 4 describes the centers and asks whether or not they achieved key early outcomes. Chapters 5 through 8 are the heart of this report. Chapter 5 examines the quality of the programming at the centers and the organizational and staff practices that contributed to high-quality programs. Chapter 6 analyzes youth participation at the centers. It also examines center and programmatic characteristics that might be linked to participation. Chapters 7 and 8 look at young people's outcomes. Chapter 7 examines the developmental experiences that young people had at the centers and whether or not those experiences can be linked to participation. Chapter 8 examines long-term outcomes--competency development, social well-being and school success. Chapter 9, the conclusion, reflects on the implications that the findings have for the after-school field. Appended to this report are: (1) Methodology: Data Sources; (2) Overview of the Relationships between Developmental Experiences and Youth Outcomes; (3) More Detailed Tables of Explanation to Accompany Findings Reported in Chapter 4; (4) Analyses Conducted for Presentation in Chapter 5; (5) Response Rates, Measures and Measure Development; (6) Analysis for Chapter 6: Predicting Participation Based on Quantitative Data; and (7) Analysis Strategy for Examining Change in Developmental Experiences Presented in Chapter 7 and for the Path Models Presented in Chapter 8: Assessing the Youth Development Model and the Relationship of Beacon Participation to Long-Term Outcomes. (Contains 50 tables, 12 figures, and 60 endnotes.) [This publication was produced with the Stanford University School of Education Research Team. Additional funding for this research was provided by the Evelyn & Walter Haas, Jr. Fund.]
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This study examined young adult sequelae of participation in high school activities and identity group for 900 participants from the Michigan Study of Life Transitions.Participation at Grade 10 in high school activities predicted later substance use, psychological adjustment, and educational and occupational outcomes.Prosocial activity participation predicted lower substance use and higher self-esteem and an increased likelihood of college graduation.Performing arts participation predicted more years of education as well as increases in drinking between ages 18 and 21 and higher rates of suicide attempts and psychologist visits by the age of 24.Sports participation predicted positive educational and occupational outcomes and lower levels of social isolation but also higher rates of drinking. Breakfast Club identity categories were predictive of both levels and longitudinal patterns in substance use, education and work outcomes, and psychological adjustment.In general, Jocks and Brains showed the most positive adjustment and Criminals the least.
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This book presents conceptual, empirical, and policy-relevant advances in research on children's and adolescent's participation in the developmental contexts represented by extracurricular activities and after-school and community programs. Many of the issues brought to light in this chapter are taken up in greater detail in the chapters to follow. The volume is organized into three main sections. Part I discusses social and cultural perspectives on organized activity participation. It begins with the historical evolution of leisure activities in the United States and the associated risks inherent in a leisure experience that is unstructured and lacks involvement in organized activities. Next, new perspectives on the role of organized activity involvement in the development of youth from low-income families and those from traditionally defined minority groups are provided. Finally, the involvement of youth as participants in the research process itself is considered. Part II provides a collection of new empirical studies on how participation in organized activities affects developmental processes and outcomes. Across the chapters, particular attention is given to the developmental experiences provided through participation in difference types of organized activities, and how the experiences translate into psychosocial adjustment and competence. It concludes with a commentary by Jacquelynne Eccles that discusses chapters in Parts I and II of this volume. Part III links the conceptual and research knowledge base on organized activities to practice and policy issues surrounding out-of-school time for young persons. This includes empirically based and practical guidance for developing effective organized activities in general, and specific insights into optimal practices for community and after-school programs. This section concludes with a commentary on out-of-school practices and policy considerations by Jane Quinn. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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In a sample of 296 8th-grade middle school students, the authors examined the role of personal achievement goals and feelings of school belonging in mediating the relation between perceptions of the school psychological environment and school-related beliefs, affect, and achievement. Sequential regression analyses indicated that perceiving a task goal structure in middle school was positively related to academic self-efficacy and that this relation was mediated through personal task goals. Perceiving an ability goal structure was related to academic self-consciousness and this relation was mediated through personal relative ability goals. Perceiving positive teacher-student relationships predicted positive school-related affect and this relation was mediated through feelings of school belonging. Feelings of academic efficacy and school belonging in turn were positively related to final-semester academic grades. Results are discussed in relation to current middle school reform efforts. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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This longitudinal study investigated consistent participation in extracurricular activities as a contributor to long-term educational success. Participants were 695 boys and girls who were interviewed annually to the end of high school and again at age 20. Family economic status, interpersonal competence, and educational aspirations during adolescence were used to assess educational status at young adulthood. Consistent extracurricular activity participation across adolescence on the educational attainment process was examined. Consistent extracurricular activity participation was associated with high educational status at young adulthood, including college attendance. Educational status was, in turn, linked to reciprocal positive changes between extracurricular activity participation and interpersonal competence, and to educational aspirations across adolescence. Findings were most apparent for students with below-average interpersonal competence.
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Anthropological approaches to human development have been oriented primarily to the socialized adult, at the expense of understanding developmental processes. Developmental psychology, in contrast, has traditionally been concerned with a decontextualized, "universal" child. After a brief historical review, the "developmental niche" is introduced as a framework for examining the cultural structuring of child development. The developmental niche has three components: the physical and social settings in which the child lives; the customs of child care and child rearing; and the psychology of the caretakers. Homeostatic mechanisms tend to keep the three subsystems in harmony with each other and appropriate to the developmental level and individual characteristics of the child. Nevertheless, they have different relationships to other features of the larger environment and thus constitute somewhat independent routes of disequilibrium and change. Regularities within and among the subsystems, and thematic continuities and progressions across the niches of childhood provide material from which the child abstracts the social, affective, and cognitive rules of the culture. Examples are provided from research in a farming community in Kenya.
Article
This article analyzes the development of initiative as an exemplar of one of many learning experiences that should be studied as part of positive youth development. The capacity for initiative is essential for adults in our society and will become more important in the 21st century, yet adolescents have few opportunities to learn it. Their typical experiences during schoolwork and unstructured leisure do not reflect conditions for learning initiative. The context best suited to the development of initiative appears to be that of structured voluntary activities, such as sports, arts, and participation in organizations, in which youths experience the rare combination of intrinsic motivation in combination with deep attention. An incomplete body of outcome research suggests that such activities are associated with positive development, but the developmental processes involved are only beginning to be understood. One promising approach has recorded language use and has found that adolescents participating in effective organizations acquire a new operating language that appears to correspond to the development of initiative.
Article
Statistics on school experiences of dropouts provide one sort of picture of the problem. In this article Michelle Fine provides another. Using ethnographic techniques, she describes through the eyes and words of actual dropouts the factors that led them to leave school.
Article
We examined the potential benefits and risks associated with participation in five types of activities: prosocial (church and volunteer activities), team sports, school involvement, performing arts, and academic clubs. Our sample included 1,259 mostly European American adolescents (approximately equal numbers of males and females). First, we explore the link between involvement in these activities and our indicators of positive and negative development. Involvement in prosocial activities was linked to positive educational trajectories and low rates of involvement in risky behaviors. In contrast, participation in team sports was linked to positive educational trajectories and to high rates of involvement in one risky behavior, drinking alcohol. Then, we explore two possible mediators of these associations: peer associations and activity-based identity formation. The evidence supported our hypothesis that group differences in peer associations and activity-based identities help explain activity group differences.
Article
Young people are competent citizens who can create community change, but the media often emphasize troubled youth and the services they require. This paper reports on a national effort to increase youth participation in community‐based organizations in the United States. It provides cross‐site analysis of their issues and strategies, the impacts of participation and the factors that facilitate and limit the process. It concludes with observations about the changing context of youth participation and the participatory community‐based research methods needed to increase its understanding.
Article
In this study early adolescents' (N = 606) representations of relationships to teachers, parents, andfriends are examined in relation to each other and to various measures of school adjustment, motivation and self-esteem. The relationship dimensions tapped included felt security, emotional and school utilization, and emulation with respect to each targetfigure. It was hypothesized that parent representations would predict those of both teachers and friends, whereas friend and teacher variables would not be significantly associated. It was predicted also that more positive representations of relationships to parents and teachers would each uniquely predict school functioning indices, whereas representations offriends would be largely unrelated to school-related outcomes. Representations of teachers, parents andfriends all were expected to correlate with self-esteem relevant outcomes. These hypotheses were generally confirmed. The findings are discussed in terms of the significance of relatednessformotivation generally and the importance of the affective quality of adult-student relationshipsfor educational outcomes in particular.
Article
This article argues for attending to the perspectives of those most directly affected by, but least often consulted about, educational policy and practice: students. The argument for authorizing student perspectives runs counter to U.S. reform efforts, which have been based on adults’ ideas about the conceptualization and practice of education. This article outlines and critiques a variety of recent attempts to listen to students, including constructivist and critical pedagogies, postmodern and poststructural feminisms, educational researchers’ and social critics’ work, and recent developments in the medical and legal realms, almost all of which continue to unfold within and reinforce adults’ frames of reference. This discussion contextualizes what the author argues are the twin challenges of authorizing student perspectives: a change in mindset and changes in the structures in educational relationships and institutions.
Article
Responses from a nationally representative sample of 13,000 high school seniors were analyzed to identify predictors of normative, unconventional, and deviant orientations among youth. Normative orientation was indexed using indicators of conventional political involvement (e. g., voting), religious attendance, and importance of religion. Unconventional orientation was indexed with unconventional political involvement (e. g., boycotting). Deviance was measured through marijuana use. Frequency of community service substantially increased predictability of these variables over and above background characteristics and part-time work involvement. Involvement in most types of school-based extracurricular activities was positively associated with doing service, as was moderate part-time work. Background characteristics of attending Catholic school, being female, having high socioeconomic status, and coming from an intact family also predicted service involvement. Results are discussed in terms of a theory of social-historical identity development, suggesting that community service affords youth a developmental opportunity to partake of traditions that transcend the material moment and existential present.
Article
Examines the classroom learning environment in relation to achievement goal theory of motivation. Classroom structures are described in terms of how they make different types of achievement goals salient and as a consequence elicit qualitatively different patterns of motivation. Task, evaluation and recognition, and authority dimensions of classrooms are presented as examples of structures that can influence children's orientation toward different achievement goals. Central to the thesis of this article is a perspective that argues for an identification of classroom structures that can contribute to a mastery orientation, a systematic analysis of these structures, and a determination of how these structures relate to each other. The ways in which interventions must address the independency among these structures are discussed in terms of how they influence student motivation. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
purpose of this chapter is to present a theoretical model of self-system processes across the life-span / this model is based on a motivational analysis of self-system functioning that features three fundamental psychological needs: competence, autonomy, and relatedness after evaluating selected theoretical approaches to the study of self, the defining features of the new model will be presented / an application of the model within the enterprise of school will be discussed, including data from studies of self-system processes in children and adolescents / concludes with a discussion of the model's implications for institutional reform (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
This book is one result of a 5-yr ethnographic research project begun in 1987. The project's goal was to identify the role of more than 60 neighborhood organizations in the lives of over 24,000 inner-city youth residing in 3 urban areas in the Northeast, Midwest, and Southwest US. The varying locales offered the opportunity to explore the significance of ethnicity for community youth resources. Six successful youth organizations, the adults who lead them, and composite portraits of their members are the focus of this book. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
In Everyday Courage the author looks beyond the stereotypes to reveal how the personal worldviews of urban poor and working-class adolescents develop over time. In her interviews with these adolescents, the author finds a cross-section of youth who want to make positive changes in their lives an communities while struggling with concerns about betrayal, trust, racism, violence, and death. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
The Latin root of motivation means "to move" and fundamentally, motivational psychologists study what moves people to act and why people think and do what they do (Weiner, 1992). In keeping with this broad view of motivation, we focus on individuals' choices about which tasks to do, the persistence with which they pursue these tasks, the intensity of their engagement in these tasks, and their thoughts about their performance and their goals (see also Eccles-Parsons et al., 1983; Wigfield & Eccles, 1992). The work reviewed here addresses the following types of questions: Why do people have different goals? Why do some people invest time and energy in developing their academic skills, while others, with similar levels of intellectual ability, focus on other skills such as sports, or no particular skills at all? Why do some continue to persist even when they are struggling, while others quit at the first sign of difficulty? In addition, since most of the relevant developmental work has focused on achievement motivation--the motive related to performance on tasks involving standards of excellence--we focus on this particular aspect of motivation. We begin with a brief historical review of the early developmentally focused theories and empirical work and then discuss more extensively the current theoretical perspectives and empirical work on developmental changes in, socialization of, and contextual influences on motivation. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Ethnography and Human Development: Context and Meaning in Social Inquiry. RICHARD JESSOR. ANNE COLBY. and RICHARD A. SHWEDER. eds. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996. xiv. 516 pp., contributors, figures, tables, references, indexes.
Book
Most writing on sociological method has been concerned with how accurate facts can be obtained and how theory can thereby be more rigorously tested. In The Discovery of Grounded Theory, Barney Glaser and Anselm Strauss address the equally Important enterprise of how the discovery of theory from data--systematically obtained and analyzed in social research--can be furthered. The discovery of theory from data--grounded theory--is a major task confronting sociology, for such a theory fits empirical situations, and is understandable to sociologists and laymen alike. Most important, it provides relevant predictions, explanations, interpretations, and applications. In Part I of the book, "Generation Theory by Comparative Analysis," the authors present a strategy whereby sociologists can facilitate the discovery of grounded theory, both substantive and formal. This strategy involves the systematic choice and study of several comparison groups. In Part II, The Flexible Use of Data," the generation of theory from qualitative, especially documentary, and quantitative data Is considered. In Part III, "Implications of Grounded Theory," Glaser and Strauss examine the credibility of grounded theory. The Discovery of Grounded Theory is directed toward improving social scientists' capacity for generating theory that will be relevant to their research. While aimed primarily at sociologists, it will be useful to anyone Interested In studying social phenomena--political, educational, economic, industrial-- especially If their studies are based on qualitative data.
Article
This article examines the impact of experiencing several major life transitions simultaneously in early adolescence. For many children, entry into the new life period of adolescence is marked by the transition from a relatively intimate elementary school setting into a more complex, impersonal junior high school environment. This major shift in organizational context is often accompanied by dramatic changes in biology and social definition. We hypothesized that transitions will be easier for children to cope with if the various adolescent changes come into focus at different stages rather than simultaneously. In a longitudinal study conducted in a large Midwestern city, schoolchildren were followed from sixth into seventh grade in 2 different types of school systems. The effect of multiple life changes (school transition, pubertal development, early dating behavior, residential mobility, family disruption) on students' self-esteem, academic grade-point average, and participation in extracurricular activities was analyzed. The results identify children who are forced to cope with several life transitions concurrently as a group at risk. Theoretical implications are discussed, with development of the notion that individuals need an "arena of comfort" in at least some spheres of their lives.
Article
To evaluate expectations derived from ego-identity theory and symbolic-interaction theories about the association between self-concept and peer-group affiliations in adolescence, we examined the self-esteem of 221 7th through 12th graders associated by peers with one of five major school crowds and 106 students relatively unknown by classmates and not associated with any school crowd. Among crowd members, self-esteem was directly related to the position of one's crowd in the peer-group status hierarchy (based on both peer-rated and self-perceived crowd affiliation). Outsiders' self-esteem differed in relation to the accuracy of their reflected appraisal of and the salience they attached to crowd affiliation. Crowd members as a whole exhibited higher self-esteem than outsiders as a whole. Differences, however, were mediated by crowd status, salience of crowd affiliation, and the accuracy of reflected appraisals. An adequate interpretation of the findings required an integration of Festinger's (1954, 1957) social comparisons and cognitive-dissonance theories, Cooley's (1902) notions of reflected appraisal, and Newman and Newman's (1976) extrapolations from ego-identity theory.
Article
This research involves a longitudinal study of antecedents and moderators in the development of antisocial patterns. Participants included 695 boys and girls who were interviewed annually from childhood to the end of high school and again at ages 20 and 24. Cluster analyses identified four configurations of boys and girls that were reasonably homogeneous with respect to behavior and academic performance at the beginning of the investigation. When tracked over time, the configurations differed significantly in patterns of early school dropout and criminal arrests. Boys and girls in the "multiple risk configuration" were more likely than those in other configurations to show long-term antisocial patterns. Participation in school extracurricular activities was associated with reduced rates of early dropout and criminal arrest among high-risk boys and girls. The decline in antisocial patterns was dependent on whether the individuals' social network also participated in school extracurricular activities.
Article
This article analyzes the development of initiative as an exemplar of one of many learning experiences that should be studied as part of positive youth development. The capacity for initiative is essential for adults in our society and will become more important in the 21st century, yet adolescents have few opportunities to learn it. Their typical experiences during schoolwork and unstructured leisure do not reflect conditions for learning initiative. The context best suited to the development of initiative appears to be that of structured voluntary activities, such as sports, arts, and participation in organizations, in which youths experience the rare combination of intrinsic motivation in combination with deep attention. An incomplete body of outcome research suggests that such activities are associated with positive development, but the developmental processes involved are only beginning to be understood. One promising approach has recorded language use and has found that adolescents participating in effective organizations acquire a new operating language that appears to correspond to the development of initiative.
Article
This chapter explores the nature of after-school partnerships and sets forth a theory and typology describing the way in which the intersection of partners creates a unique intermediary space.
Identity and inner-city youth: Beyond ethnicity and gender
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Heath, S. B., & McLaughlin, M. W. (Eds.). (1993). Identity and inner-city youth: Beyond ethnicity and gender. New York: Teachers College Press.
Developing a comprehensive agenda for the out-of-school hours: Lessons and challenges across cities
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Pittman, K., Tolman, J., & Yohalem, N. (2005). Developing a comprehensive agenda for the out-of-school hours: Lessons and challenges across cities. In J. Mahoney, R. Larson, & J.
Ethnography and human development: Context and meaning in social inquiry
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Becker, H. (1996). The epistemology of qualitative research. In A. Colby, R. Jessor, & R. A. Shweder (Eds.), Ethnography and human development: Context and meaning in social inquiry (pp. 53-71). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
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Cahill, M., Perry, J., Wright, M., & Rice, A. (1993). A documentation report on the New York City Beacons Initiative. New York: Youth Development Institute.
A place to call home: Youth organizations in the lives of inner city adolescents
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Deutsch, N., & Hirsch, B. (2002). A place to call home: Youth organizations in the lives of inner city adolescents. In T. Brinthaupt & R. Lipka (Eds.), Understanding early adolescent self and identity: Applications and interventions (pp. 293-320). Albany: State University of New York Press.
Ethnographic insights on social context and adolescent development among inner city African-American teens
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At the threshold: The developing adolescent
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Brown, B. B. (1990). Peer groups and peer cultures. In S. S. Feldman & G. R. Elliott (Eds.), At the threshold: The developing adolescent (pp. 171-196). Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
After-school programs, antisocial behavior, and positive youth development: An exploration of the relationship between program implementation and changes in youth behavior
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Gerstenblith, S. A., Soule, D. A., Gottfredson, D. C., Lu, S., Kellstrom, M. A., Womer, S. C., et al. (2005). After-school programs, antisocial behavior, and positive youth development: An exploration of the relationship between program implementation and changes in youth behavior. In J. Mahoney, R. Larson, & J. Eccles (Eds.), Organized activities as contexts of development: Extracurricular activities, after-school and community programs (pp. 457-478). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
Beyond resistance! Youth activism and community change: New democratic possibilities for practice and policy for America's youth
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Kirshner, B. (2006). Apprenticeship learning in youth activism. In S. Ginwright, P. Noguera, & J. Cammarota (Eds.), Beyond resistance! Youth activism and community change: New democratic possibilities for practice and policy for America's youth (pp. 37-58). New York: Routledge.
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