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Youth Programs: What Makes Them Effective?

By Marilyn Price-Mitchell, PhD, Roots of Action Youth programs abound today, claiming numerous positive outcomes for adolescents. What tweens and teens learn in youth programs can help them develop better social skills, become leaders, gain greater knowledge of themselves, and foster lifelong relationships. But programs vary widely in quality. What makes youth programs effective? How […]

Some youth programs may benefit the next generation, too

Hill, K. G., Bailey, J. A., Steeger, C. M., Hawkins, J. D., Catalano, R. F., Kosterman, R., Epstein, M., & Abbott, R. D. (2020). Outcomes of Childhood Preventive Intervention Across 2 Generations: A Nonrandomized Controlled Trial. JAMA Pediatrics, 174(8), 764–771. https://doi.org/10.1001/jamapediatrics.2020.1310 Posted by Kim Eckart-Washington, Futurity Youth programs designed to prevent drug use and delinquency […]

Youth Programs Can Improve Engagement by Reducing Barriers and Strengthening Relationships

By Akiva Liberman, Sham Habteselasse, Sam Hanft, & Kristin Anderson Moore, Child Trends Why do programs for youth and young adults often struggle to recruit, retain, and engage participants long enough and deeply enough to achieve the programs’ intended outcomes? Too often, the youth who could benefit most from programs seem the least likely to […]

New research unpacks how social interaction impacts physical activity-based programs

McDonough, M. H., Ullrich-French, S., & McDavid, M. L. (2018). Helping kids connect: Participant and staff perspectives on facilitating social relationships in a physical activity-based positive youth development program for youth from low-income families. Sport, Exercise, And Performance Psychology, 7(1), 13-29. doi:10.1037/spy0000109 Summarized by Cyanea Poon Notes of Interest: This qualitative study adopted the socio-ecological […]

Engagement and mentor support in youth development programs as an avenue to foster adolescent social development

Chapman, C. M., Deane, K. L., Harré, N., Courtney, M. G., & Moore, J. (2017). Engagement and mentor support as drivers of social development in the Project K Youth Development Program. Journal of youth and adolescence, 46(3), 644-655. Summarized by Kirsten Christensen   Introduction Given that we are inherently social creatures, adolescence is a particularly critical time […]

Adolescents’ development of skills for agency in youth programs

Larson, R., & Angus, R. (2011). Adolescents’ development of skills for agency in youth programs: Learning to think strategically. Child Development, 82 (1), 277-294. Problem: An objective of many youth programs often focus on  the development of agency skills, referring to “cognitive tools, including insights, precepts, knowledge, and action schemas that youth might employ to […]