YOUTH ENGAGEMENT AND COMPREHENSIVE AFTER-SCHOOL PROGRAMS: SCHOOL CONNECTEDNESS OUTCOMES, SCHOOL LEVEL DIFFERENCES, AND PROGRAM QUALITY.

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Title: YOUTH ENGAGEMENT AND COMPREHENSIVE AFTER-SCHOOL PROGRAMS: SCHOOL CONNECTEDNESS OUTCOMES, SCHOOL LEVEL DIFFERENCES, AND PROGRAM QUALITY.
Author: Thompson-Caruthers, Lisa
Abstract: This research examined an instrument used for after -school outcome reporting as a potential measure for a three factor youth engagement model . Differences in the proposed engagement model by school level served were evaluated , and relationships between the proposed engagement model and program quality were tested . Using a social work strengths -based approach and a systems -theory lens , the role of comprehensive after -school programs as a positive youth -engagement intervention was reviewed . Today , in order to sustain the availability of public and private support of such programs for low -income and at -risk youth , these programs must prove their impact on a youth’s academic success . A school -connectedness theoretical framework was created to link after -school’s ability to engage youth with school -day measures of success . This research used data from sixty -eight comprehensive after -school programs administered by the Harris County Department of Education in 2010 /2011 . Confirmatory factor analysis did not validate the out -of -school time evaluation instrument as a measure of the three factor youth engagement model . The proposed school connectedness model was also tested for fit with each of the three school levels served : elementary , middle and high . The middle school program data set came the closest to proving a significant fit . Finally , regressions were run to analyze the relationship between program quality , as observed through site visit observations , and the proposed measure of youth engagement outcomes . Relationships between two quality constructs— activity design and staff behaviors— were found to be significant , with small to moderate contributions to prediction of the after -school outcome measure . Research needs to be conducted to continue to seek a way to evaluate the ability of after -school programs to positively engage youth in continued learning opportunities . For low -income and at -risk youth that have disengaged from the education system , after -school programs can re -engage them in a way that leads back to academic achievements , and school -day measures of success .
URI: http : / /hdl .handle .net /10657 /ETD -UH -2012 -05 -422
Date: 2012-06-28

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YOUTH ENGAGEMENT AND COMPREHENSIVE AFTER-SCHOOL PROGRAMS: SCHOOL CONNECTEDNESS OUTCOMES, SCHOOL LEVEL DIFFERENCES, AND PROGRAM QUALITY.. Doctoral dissertation, University of Houston. Available electronically from http : / /hdl .handle .net /10657 /ETD -UH -2012 -05 -422 .

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