In this chapter, Mahoney et al., state that in order for programs to be deemed beneficial, youth need to actually show up! Lack of participation has been an issue that some of you have experienced firsthand in your programs.
Using the research provided in the section on demographic and familial influences, and the section on individual characteristics, discuss how these factors are reflected in encouraging youth participation in your programs.
Program quality is another factor in sustaining youth participation. Table 1.1 (attached) from the Mahoney et al. chapter identifies eight features that help to define a high quality program.
Review the table and discuss how these are reflected (or not) in your program.
TABLE 1.1 Features of Contexts That Promote Positive Development
Physical and psychological safety. The context provides secure and health-promoting facilities and
practices, allows for safe and appropriate peer interactions, and discourages unsafe health practices
and negative or confrontational social interchanges.
Appropriate structure. The context provides clear, appropriate, and consistent rules and expectations,
adult supervision, guidance, and age-appropriate monitoring in a predictable social atmosphere
where clear boundaries are known and respected.
Supportive relationships. The context offers stable opportunities to form relationships with peers and
adults wherein social interchanges are characterized by warmth, closeness, caring, and mutual
respect, and where guidance and support from adults is available, appropriate, and predictable.
Opportunities for belonging. The context emphasizes the inclusion of all members and maintains a
social environment that recognizes, appreciates, and encourages individual differences in cultural
values, gender, race/ethnicity, and sexual orientation.
Positive social norms. The context maintains expectations and requirements for socially appropriate
behavior and encourages desirable and accepted values and morals.
Support ƒor efficacy and mattering. The context allows fot and supports autonomy, values individual
expression and opinions, concentrates on growth and improvement rather than absolute
performance, encourages and enables individuals to take on challenging responsibilities and to carry
out actions aimed at making a difference.
Opportunity ƒor skill building. The context offers opportunities to learn and build physical, intellectual,
psychological, emotional, and social skills that facilitate well-being in the present and prepare
individuals for health and competent functioning in the future.
Integration of family, school, and community efforts. The context provides opportunities for
synergistic experiences that integrate transactions across family, school, and community