Exploring the Relationship Between Program Experience and Youth Developmental Outcomes
Program quality is an important topic for improving out-of-school time youth development programs. High levels of program quality may contribute to enhanced positive youth development outcomes. This paper explores aspects of program quality in the California 4-H Youth Development Program and its relationship to positive youth development outcomes. Results indicated few demographic differences in program quality as experienced and reported by youth. Youths who reported higher levels of program quality also reported higher levels of positive youth development outcomes. Emotional safety and relationship building, two aspects of program quality, were the most consistent predictors of positive youth development outcomes. Youth development programs should assess their current program quality practices to look for needs, especially related to emotional safety and relationship building. Further, program administration and staff should model critical aspects of program quality for direct service providers
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