One of the primary reasons people participate in recreational activities is to socialize with others, which can result in tremendous benefits for overall well-being. Through recreation, people discover who they are as individuals and who they are as members of a group. They learn the give-and-take of relationships, appropriate manners and customs, and the skills necessary to make and keep friends. People also discover what gives them joy, passion, and meaning in life. Recreation is important for all ages, but it is especially crucial during children's formative years.
With the right supports and attitudes, JCC staff believe Lack of recreation for teens is possible anywhere! Daley and V. Every tournament after that is profit that could be reinvested into other community needs. Appropriate risk taking, and a healthy sense of competition and sportsmanship can substitute for violent confrontation related to gang Free lesbian pic slut. Finally, theatre-based programs aimed at preventing dating violence among youth appear to be effective, but the studies presented within this report redreation only with a very specific rural youth population.
Don and tracy price. South Africa: Lack of Recreational Facilities Causes Youth to Turn to Drink, Drugs And Sex
In a recent survey sent to all camp families, parents were asked if they thought children without disabilities benefit from the inclusion of peers with disabilities. Paid staff coordinate activities, and members attend each. Halpern R. To reduce the Lack of recreation for teens of selection bias and ensure inclusion of Lack of recreation for teens meeting a minimal yeens of criteria for internal validity, systematic reviews and meta-analyses often exclude studies that do not employ experimental or quasi-experimental designs. Following initial screening, potentially eligible studies were further reviewed by two authors to determine final inclusion. The effectiveness of volunteer tutoring programs for elementary and middle school students: A meta-analysis. Foley and Eddins Low self-esteem and a lack of confidence can plague children with recreatin. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution; Randomization is the best approach to mitigating threats to internal validity; however, randomly recreagion participants to Ethnic skirts is not always possible. Capturing unique dimensions of youth organized activity involvement theoretical and methodological considerations. There are many opportunities for inclusion at the JCC.
Lack of facilities and money are the main barriers towards teenagers getting involved in recreational activities, according to research commissioned by the Government.
- Alexandra Momyer.
- One of the primary reasons people participate in recreational activities is to socialize with others, which can result in tremendous benefits for overall well-being.
Grahamstown — Youth in the Makana Municipality were turning to drugs, alcohol and sex due to a "serious" lack of public recreational and sporting facilities said ANC aligned Makana Municipal Councillor and sports enthusiast Mxolisi Ntshiba yesterday subs:thurs.
Ntshiba said their was unequal progress between housing and public recreational and sporting facilities which was detrimental to the youth. He said although housing development was important, the construction of sporting and recreational facilities was dragging far behind.
He said the lack of sporting facilities and the inadequacy of existing facilities was the cause of increasing alcohol and drug abuse and teenage pregnancies. He said local municipalities lacked the financial capacity to cater for these facilities.
Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture Department Spokesperson Masiza Mazizi said: "Although the department has a budget to redress the imbalances of the past, especially in the poorest of the poor areas, this can not be achieved overnight. Mazizi said Grahamstown should "consider itself lucky".
He said the indoor sports centre was built at a cost of R and also jerseys for all sporting codes were bought at a cost of R50 He said the duty of the provincial department was to provide the facilities and was not responsible for the charging of fees. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons.
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Table 3 Intervention characteristics. For the delivery of academic components, Fashola suggested the alignment of program curriculum with in-school curricula and for the lessons to be taught by qualified instructors, such as school teachers. Often children with special needs lack the ability to perform physical movements properly. On average, students participating in after-school programs did not demonstrate improved behavior or school attendance compared to their comparison group peers. Vaughn is a Professor at Saint Louis University. Due to significant differences in educational systems around the world, this review was limited to studies conducted in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, and Australia. Some after-school programs explicitly or implicitly aim to reduce crime, delinquency and other problematic behaviors in and out of school, decrease substance use, improve socio-emotional outcomes, and improve school engagement and attendance Richards et al.
Lack of recreation for teens. Gross Motor Skills
The protocol and data extraction form developed a priori for this review are available from the authors. Experimental and quasi-experimental studies examining the effects of an after-school program on school attendance or externalizing behaviors with at-risk primary or secondary students were included in this review.
Studies must have used a comparison group wait-list or no intervention, treatment as usual, or alternative interventions and reported baseline measures of outcome variables or covariate adjusted posttest means to be included. Externalizing behavior outcomes were broadly defined as any acting out or problematic behavior, including but not limited to disruptive behavior, substance use, or delinquency.
Student-, parent-, or teacher report measures and administrative school and court data were eligible for inclusion in this review. Interventions included in this review were after-school programs defined as an organized program supervised by adults that occurred during after-school hours during the regular school year.
Interventions that operated solely during the summer or occurred during school hours were excluded from this review. Interventions that were solely mentoring or tutoring were also excluded from this review as those types of programs, while often occurring after school, are not generally classified as an after-school program and have been synthesized as separate types of interventions Ritter et al.
If mentoring or tutoring was provided in addition to other activities and the study also met the other inclusion criteria, the study was included in the review. Due to significant differences in educational systems around the world, this review was limited to studies conducted in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, and Australia. Several sources were used to identify eligible published and unpublished studies between and May, Electronic searches were originally conducted in and then updated in May The full search strategy for each electronic database is available in Online Resource 1 and from the authors.
Publication bias may be the result of journals choosing not to publish papers with non-significant primary outcomes Hopewell et al. Additionally, a review by Hopewell et al. To limit the risk of publication bias, locating unpublished literature for inclusion in systematic review is a crucial component of the search strategy as outlined by the Campbell Collaboration Although unpublished studies, such as dissertations, have not gone through the formal peer-review process, unpublished and published research have been found to be of similar quality McLeod and Weisz ; Hopewell et al.
Titles and abstracts of the studies found through the search procedures were screened for relevance by one author. Documents that were potentially eligible or relevant based on the abstract review were retrieved in full text and screened by one author using a screening instrument.
Following initial screening, potentially eligible studies were further reviewed by two authors to determine final inclusion. Any discrepancies between authors were discussed and resolved through consensus, and when needed, a third author reviewed the study.
Studies that met inclusion criteria were coded using a coding instrument comprised of five sections: 1 source descriptors and study context; 2 sample descriptors; 3 intervention descriptors; 4 research methods and quality descriptors; and 5 effect size data.
The data extraction instrument, available from the authors, was pilot tested by two authors and adjustments to the coding form were made. Two authors then independently coded all data related to moderator variables i.
Discrepancies between the two coders were discussed and resolved through consensus. Inter-rater agreement on descriptive items was Four authors did not respond to our request. Eleven authors were unable to send additional information due to data availability or time constraints. Seven authors sent additional information. Data from four of these authors were utilized in the meta-analysis, while information from three authors was still insufficient for the study to be included in the review.
A review based on studies with low internal validity, or a group of studies that vary in terms of internal validity, may result in biased estimates of effects and misinterpretation of the findings. Therefore, it is critical to assess all included studies for threats to internal validity. The risk of bias tool addresses five categories of bias i. All studies included in the review were rated on each domain as low, high, or unclear risk of bias. Coders reviewed the coding agreement, and discrepancies were discussed and resolved by consensus.
Selection bias is assessed in the risk of bias tool by examining the method used to generate allocation sequence i. Performance bias, or the extent to which groups are treated systematically different from one another apart from the intervention, and detection bias, systematic differences in the way participants are assessed, are other sources of bias that can threaten internal validity.
This can occur, for example, when the researchers who developed the intervention provide extra attention or care to the treatment group, perhaps inadvertently, because they are invested in the treatment group performing better.
Thus, the knowledge of which intervention was received, rather than the intervention itself, may affect the outcomes. Blinding participants and personnel to group assignment can mitigate performance and detection bias. In the risk of bias tool, we rated the extent of risk based on whether participants and personnel were blinded to group assignment. Attrition bias, missing data resulting from participants dropping out of the study or other systematic reasons for missing or excluded data, can also impact internal validity of a study.
Participants who drop out of a study, or for whom data are not available or excluded, may be systematically different from participants who remain in the study, thus increasing the possibility that effect estimates are biased. Reporting bias was the final form of bias assessed in this review. Reporting bias can occur when authors selectively report the outcomes, either by not reporting all outcomes measured, or reporting only subgroups of participants.
Several statistical procedures were conducted following recommendations of Pigott To begin, we calculated the standardized-mean difference, correcting for small-sample bias using Hedges g Pigott for each outcome included in the review. To control for pre-test difference between the intervention and control conditions, we subtracted the pre-test effect size from the post-test effect size Lipsey and Wilson The variance was calculated for each effect size, adjusting for the number of effect sizes in the study Hedges et al.
An advanced meta-analytic technique, robust variance estimation, was used to synthesize the effect sizes. Unlike traditional meta-analysis, robust variance estimation allows for the inclusion and synthesis of all estimated effect sizes simultaneously Hedges et al. For example, the included study by Hirsch et al. Robust variance estimation models each of the effect sizes, eliminating the need to average or select only one effect size per study.
The result of the analysis is random-effects weighted average, similar to traditional syntheses, but including all available information. Of note, we chose to conduct separate meta-analyses for the attendance and behavioral outcomes, given their divergent latent nature.
Finally, we estimated the heterogeneity and attempted to model it. Higgins and Thompson suggested the calculation of I 2 , which quantifies the amount of heterogeneity beyond sample differences. In total, we used seven a priori determined variables: age i. We used the R package robumeta Fisher and Tipton to conduct all analyses. A total of 2, citations were retrieved from electronic searches of bibliographic databases, with additional citations reviewed from reference lists of prior reviews and studies and website searches.
Titles and abstracts were screened for relevance and 2, were excluded due to being duplicates or deemed inappropriate. The full text of the remaining reports was screened for eligibility, and 75 reports were further reviewed for final eligibility by two of the authors. Additional information on the excluded studies is available in Online Resource 2 and from the authors.
Twenty-four studies reported in 31 reports were included in the review. Of the included studies, 16 studies with 16 effect sizes were included in the analysis of attendance outcomes, and 19 studies with 49 effect sizes were included in the analysis of externalizing behavior outcomes.
See Fig. Table 2 summarizes the characteristics of the included studies. Seven of the studies were randomized controlled designs, while the majority Although the search was open to studies published as early as , the majority of studies were published either between and Only one study published prior to was included in the review. While additional studies published between and met our inclusion criteria, many of these studies either lacked statistical controls or sufficient data to calculate effect sizes.
Despite efforts to search for studies conducted in a broad geographical area, nearly all of the included studies The comparison condition for the majority Of the 24 studies included in this meta-analysis, nearly half Sample sizes of the included studies varied, ranging from 20 to nearly 70, participants. A total of , students participated in the studies.
Included programs primarily targeted students in either middle school Although less than half of the studies reported the socio-economic status of participants, the studies reporting this characteristic showed that participants were overwhelmingly low-income. African American participants were the predominant race in The samples were nearly evenly split between genders. Interventions were targeted toward participants who met one of the aforementioned criteria for at-risk.
Four other studies were classified as at-risk for targeting students with a history of high risky behavior, history of arrest, ADHD diagnosis, and Limited English Proficiency.
Although programs were limited to those targeting at-risk participants, no studies were excluded solely based on this criterion. Programs that did not target at-risk youth also failed to meet a number of other inclusion criteria. Table 3 summarizes the characteristics of the interventions for the included studies.
Half The remaining studies were either in a mixed setting While some interventions Roughly half of the interventions followed a manual to implement either the entire program The majority of the interventions were conducted locally The interventions had considerable variety in the dosage and frequency of treatment. The majority of treatment sessions lasted 3—3. Overall, there was a high risk of bias across the included studies see Fig.
In terms of performance and selection bias, only one study reported the use of blinding of participants or personnel and outcome assessment.
Three studies were assessed as low risk of attrition bias as they reported either low or no overall or differential attrition or used missing data strategies to perform the analysis with data from all participants assigned to condition. The remaining 10 studies were assessed as unclear risk as the studies did not clearly indicate the procedures used for the management of attrition or the attrition rates could not be reliably calculated. Risk of bias by study is found in Table 4.
H high risk of bias, L low risk of bias, U unclear risk of bias. Figure 3 depicts a forest plot of the effect sizes for attendance outcomes. Half of the studies used a measure of total attendance in school, while the other half assessed the number of absences from school. We transformed the effect sizes so that a positive effect size indicated greater attendance. Given sufficient heterogeneity, we conducted a series of moderator analyses.
Only five analyses were conducted because the focus variable did not include sufficient variability i. Figure 4 depicts a forest plot of the effect sizes for externalizing behavior outcomes. The reporter for one externalizing behavior outcome was unknown. All effect sizes were transformed so that a positive effect size indicated a positive treatment effect i. As such, we conducted moderator analyses using all seven variables. Despite the popularity of after-school programs and the substantial resources being funneled into after-school programs across the United States, surprisingly few rigorous evaluations have been conducted to examine effects of after-school programs on behavior and school attendance outcomes.
A systematic review and meta-analysis was conducted to quantify and synthesize the effects of after-school programs on externalizing behavior and school attendance and to provide an up-to-date review of a growing research base. A comprehensive search for published and unpublished literature resulted in the inclusion of 24 after-school program intervention studies, 14 of which have not been included in prior reviews.
Sixteen of the included studies measured school attendance, and 19 studies measured externalizing behaviors. Overall, the after-school programs included in this review were found to have small and non-significant effects on externalizing behavior and school attendance outcomes. On average, students participating in after-school programs did not demonstrate improved behavior or school attendance compared to their comparison group peers.
Prior narrative reviews have reported promising but tentative conclusions about the effects of after-school programs on behavior Redd et al. For school attendance, the evidence from this review converges with prior quantitative and narrative reviews. Simply, after-school programs have not demonstrated significant effects on school attendance Zief et al.
Although 16 studies in the current review measured school attendance, few specified increasing school attendance as a primary goal of the after-school program or explicated a theory of change connecting the mechanisms of the after-school program to school attendance.
If school attendance truly is a goal of after-school programs, then it is important for after-school programs to state that explicitly as a goal and develop their programs to affect school attendance using a theory of change to drive program elements that would likely impact school attendance outcomes.
Simply implementing an after-school program with hopes that it will have positive impacts on a number of outcomes without building in specific mechanisms to impact those outcomes is likely to fail. We included substance use measures in the construct of externalizing behaviors whereas Durlak et al. Also, Durlak and colleagues estimated an effect size of zero for all outcomes when the primary study authors reported the result as non-significant and did not report enough data to calculate a true effect size.
Underestimating the variance is particularly problematic for answering questions related to magnitude of the mean effect, moderators of effects, and heterogeneity of studies Pigott This is problematic because, although all included studies in Durlak et al.
Without adjusting for baseline differences, the effects could be over- or under-estimated. Gottfredson, Cross, and colleagues discussed routine activity theory and social control theory in their after-school program intervention studies see Cross et al.
By providing adult supervision and structured activities, after-school programs have the potential to reduce delinquency Cross et al. Cross et al. Instead, their findings suggested that participants would have been supervised had they not attended the after-school program James-Burdumy et al.
Prior reviews and primary research suggest that program and participant characteristics may moderate effects of after-school programs, such as program quality and characteristics Simpkins et al. Although theory and research suggest several possible moderators of effects of after-school programs on youth outcomes, the heterogeneity of programs included in this review and the relatively poor reporting related to specific elements and staffing of the included after-school programs made it difficult to parse out differential effects across programs related to program or participant characteristics.
Overall, evidence related to moderators and mediators of after-school program impacts is sparse and poorly developed.
In addition to findings of effects, another important finding of this review is related to the quality of evidence and the extent to which the findings are valid. All of the included studies had a number of methodological flaws that threaten the internal validity of the studies.
The vast majority of the studies were rated high risk for selection bias, performance bias, and detection bias. Relatively few studies employed randomization, and those that did randomize participants rarely reported the methods by which they performed randomization.
However, it is clear from this and prior reviews that the rigor of after-school program research must be improved. Although past after-school program reviews have consistently suggested improvements in the rigor of after-school program research, limited progress has been made.
Our included studies displayed a high risk of bias within and across studies, impairing the extent to which we can draw conclusions about the effects of after-school programs on attendance and externalizing behaviors. However, since , when prior reviews concluded their search Durlak et al. This trend is encouraging, but must be maintained, and researchers must attend to other potential risks of bias, including minimizing performance and attrition bias, which were problematic in the studies included in this review.
Randomization is the best approach to mitigating threats to internal validity; however, randomly assigning participants to condition is not always possible. Some reviews and individual studies have identified potential moderators of after-school programs and other types of organized youth activities, such as study quality and characteristics of the program i. To further examine these variables in a meta-analysis, the data on moderator variables need to be consistently measured and reported.
We recommend for future studies that researchers measure and report key participant, intervention, and implementation characteristics that may moderate program outcomes. Although Durlak et al. In particular, socio-economic status, as measured by eligibility for free or reduced lunch, was reported in less than half of our included studies.
Research has found after-school program studies lack well-defined theories of change and intervention procedures, have poor utilization of treatment manuals, provide limited training and supervision for implementers, and infrequently measure fidelity Maynard et al. While Durlak et al.
This lack of attention to intervention processes and implementation impedes our ability to examine program characteristics that may impact the effectiveness of after-school programs. Future studies could be improved by explicating a theory of change and reporting and measuring treatment procedures and fidelity. Statistical power, particularly for the attendance outcome, could be low thereby inhibiting the ability to detect effects. Power analyses for robust variance estimation analyses are still being developed; thus, it is difficult to know for certain.
We also suspect that outcome reporting bias may be an issue in after-school program intervention research as it has been found to be problematic in education research Pigott et al. We only included studies that reported attendance or externalizing outcomes with sufficient data to calculate an effect size; however, researchers could have measured these outcomes but chose not to report them if they were not significant, thus potentially inflating the effects of after-school programs reported in this meta-analysis.
We were also limited in the number and types of moderators that we could examine in this study due to the lack of statistical power. Also, because selection bias is problematic in after-school program intervention research, we limited studies included in this review to those that provided pre-test data of the outcomes of interest or adjusted for pre-test on the outcome, so we could control for selection bias to some extent.
Although unlikely, we could have introduced review level selection bias by excluding studies that did not provide pre-test data or adjust for baseline differences. This review was also limited by the studies included in this review. After-school programs in the United States receive overwhelming positive support and significant resources; however, this review found a lack of evidence of effects of after-school programs on school attendance and externalizing behaviors for at-risk primary and secondary students.
Given these findings, a reconsideration of the purpose of after-school programs and the way after-school programs are designed, implemented, and evaluated seems warranted. After-school programs are expected to affect numerous outcomes, but attempt to do so without being intentional in the program elements and mechanisms they implement by using empirical evidence or theories of change in program design to affect those outcomes.
It is clear that if our priority is to spend limited resources to provide supervision and activities for youth after school, we should also be investing in studying and implementing programs and program elements that are effective and grounded in empirical evidence and theory.
Improving the design of the programs as well as the evaluations of after-school programs to examine specific elements and contexts that may affect outcomes could provide valuable information to realize the potential of after-school programs. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the supporting entities. Kristen P. Her major research interests include school engagement, academic achievement, cognitive development, youth violence, and research with at-risk students.
Brandy R. Her major research interests include the etiology and developmental course of academic risk and externalizing behavior problems; evidence-based practice and knowledge translation; and research synthesis and meta-analysis. Joshua R. His major research interests include systematic review and meta-analytic methods, prevention science, predictive modelling using statistical programs, bullying and disruptive behaviors, and academic achievement.
Michael G. Vaughn is a Professor at Saint Louis University. His major research interests include school dropout, antisocial behavior over the life course, cell-to-society approaches to the study of human behavior, youth violence prevention, and drug use epidemiology. Christine M. Sarteschi is an Assistant Professor at Chatham University. She received her doctorate in Social Work from the University of Pittsburgh. Her major research interests include mental health courts, schizophrenia, incarceration of those with serious mental illness, women and youth offenders, research synthesis and meta-analysis, mass murder, and homicidal ideation.
Electronic supplementary material. The online version of this article doi National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. J Youth Adolesc. Author manuscript; available in PMC Oct 8. Kremer , Brandy R. Maynard , Joshua R. Polanin , Michael G. Vaughn , and Christine M. Author information Copyright and License information Disclaimer.
Corresponding author. Kremer: ude. Copyright notice. The publisher's final edited version of this article is available at J Youth Adolesc. See other articles in PMC that cite the published article. Associated Data Supplementary Materials 1. Abstract The popularity, demand, and increased federal and private funding for after-school programs have resulted in a marked increase in after-school programs over the past two decades.
Keywords: After-school programs, Attendance, Externalizing behaviors, Systematic review, Meta-analysis. Introduction Over the past two decades, the number and types of after-school programs have increased substantially. Purpose of the Present Study This systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to synthesize the available evidence on the effects of after-school programs with at-risk primary and secondary students on school attendance and externalizing behavior outcomes.
Materials and Methods Systematic review methodology was used for all aspects of the search, selection, and coding of studies. Study Eligibility Criteria Experimental and quasi-experimental studies examining the effects of an after-school program on school attendance or externalizing behaviors with at-risk primary or secondary students were included in this review.
Information Sources Several sources were used to identify eligible published and unpublished studies between and May, Study Selection and Data Extraction Titles and abstracts of the studies found through the search procedures were screened for relevance by one author.
Statistical Procedures Several statistical procedures were conducted following recommendations of Pigott Open in a separate window. Table 1 Summary of included studies. Frazier et al. Hirsch et al. Roth et al.
James-Burdumy et al. LaFrance et al. Lauer et al. Schinke et al. Tebes et al. Weisman et al. Zief et al. Welsh et al. Scott-Little et al. Characteristics of Included Studies and Programs Design Table 2 summarizes the characteristics of the included studies. Table 2 Study and sample characteristics. Participants A total of , students participated in the studies. Interventions Table 3 summarizes the characteristics of the interventions for the included studies.
Table 3 Intervention characteristics. Risk of Bias of Included Studies Overall, there was a high risk of bias across the included studies see Fig. Table 4 Risk of bias summary table. Table 5 Moderator analyses. Discussion Despite the popularity of after-school programs and the substantial resources being funneled into after-school programs across the United States, surprisingly few rigorous evaluations have been conducted to examine effects of after-school programs on behavior and school attendance outcomes.
Recommendations and Directions for Future Research Although past after-school program reviews have consistently suggested improvements in the rigor of after-school program research, limited progress has been made. Conclusion After-school programs in the United States receive overwhelming positive support and significant resources; however, this review found a lack of evidence of effects of after-school programs on school attendance and externalizing behaviors for at-risk primary and secondary students.
Supplementary Material 1 Click here to view. Footnotes Author contributions KK participated in the conception and design of the study, acquisition of data, and drafting of the manuscript; BM participated in the conception and design of the study, acquisition and analysis of data, and drafting of the manuscript; JP participated in the acquisition and analysis of data and revision of the manuscript; MV participated in the conception and design of the study and revision of the manuscript; CS participated in the acquisition of data and revision of the manuscript.
All authors read and approved the final manuscript. Contributor Information Kristen P. America after 3PM: Afterschool programs in demand. After-school programs for adolescents: A review of evaluation research. The researchers found a tremendous variety in teen drinking even in very similar communities. The number of activities teens felt were open to them wasn't related to how much they drank, the researchers report in the October issue of the Journal of Early Adolescence.
But teens' perception of how much the adults in their community cared about them did matter. Each perceived increase in community support indicated by a unit change from the average reported by the teenagers decreased the chances that a kid had tried alcohol by 20 percent. The findings also illustrated the complexity of the relationship between economic hardship and drinking, researchers said.
The kids' responses suggested that it's not boredom that drives them to the bottle. Rather, teenagers seem to have some of the same motivations for drinking as adults.
Benefits of Recreation - Recreation
Skip to content Ontario. The aim of this chapter is to provide a review of some recent literature and empirical research regarding structured recreational activities and youth violence, primarily focusing upon their effect on youth aggressive and anti-social behaviour and related factors. While this chapter does not encompass all of the literature available, it does offer a relatively comprehensive review of many pertinent studies conducted regarding this topic and many of the issues associated with it.
The second section of the chapter provides a brief description of what structured recreational activities and their underlying goals typically encompass with special regard to those programs directed towards at-risk youth.
As well, some common issues and limitations regarding research in this area are discussed. Section three focuses on the role of structure in recreational activities. Section four highlights the role that parental involvement in structured recreational activity can play. In section five, attention will be given to issues regarding cultural awareness when dealing with youth belonging to visible minority groups.
Section six outlines research specifically pertaining to the role that arts-based recreational activities can play in addressing issues regarding youth violence and anti-social behaviours. In section seven, research regarding secondary benefits of provider-initiated quality childcare are highlighted and discussed. Finally, section eight offers a brief summation and conclusion regarding the topics discussed in the previous sections.
A considerable amount of research exists to suggest that youth participation in structured recreational activities is associated with a number of positive outcomes, including reductions in anti-social behaviour, aggression, and criminality Kisiel, Blaustein, Spinazzola, Schmidt, Zucker and van der Kolk, ; Mahoney, ; Mahoney and Stattin, As mentioned, the report also posited four primary hypotheses regarding structured youth recreation, which may be viewed as useful in guiding future research and program designs.
First, there is the human development hypothesis, which puts forth the notion that an absence of structured recreation has a negative effect regarding long-term socio-emotional development of youth, resulting in pervasive problems well into the adult years. Next, the Civic Competence hypothesis suggests that youth not involved in structured recreational activities are less likely to exhibit appropriate and acceptable levels of civic competency.
Regarding this hypothesis, the report points out that children participating in structured recreational activity appear to score higher on a measure of moral development, and that childhood participation in team sports and youth groups seems to have an impact on later participation in community and volunteering activities as an adult.
As such, the report highlights a number of barriers that decrease the likelihood of youth participation in structured recreational activity, pointing out that many at-risk youth face a number of these barriers simultaneously. Some of these barriers include low socio-economic status, gender females are less likely to participate, as typical activities such as sports are male-dominated and minority group status.
Finally, related to the insufficiency hypothesis, is the inadequacy hypothesis, which suggests that non-participation of youth is, at least in part, due to a lack of existing public systems dealing with the provision of structured youth recreation activities. An important point that the report highlights is that simply supplying structured recreation to youth is not enough; rather, there need to be put into place some mechanisms to aid in facilitating access to such programs for youth who may otherwise not be able to participate.
As such, it is essential for continual assessments to be conducted in order to maintain the integrity of programs and the likelihood of positive effects being produced. However, a widespread problem regarding research in the area of youth recreation programs is that programs and assessments are often lacking sound experimental design, making it difficult to determine what truly works and what does not.
Specifically, many assessments often have vague operational definitions, lack of control groups, no baseline or outcome measures, and non-standardized or non-validated measurement tools for some specific examples, see Carey-Webb, ; Long and Soble, ; Mahne, ; Smitherman and Thompson, As such, programs need to be continually evaluated by objective researchers with no vested interest in the funding of specific programs.
A study recently conducted in Sweden sought to identify and evaluate characteristics of recreational activities that may be associated with increases or decreases in adolescent anti-social behaviour, specifically focusing on the influence of structure and social context Mahoney and Stattin, Accordingly, adolescent anti-social behaviour was assessed for youth participating in either high or low structured recreational activities.
High-structured recreational activities included community-sponsored teams and organizations, and typically featured: regular participation schedules, rule-guided engagement, emphasis on skill development and direction provided by adult activity leaders. Low structured recreational activities consisted of youth accessing the nationally sponsored Swedish youth recreation YR centres. Typical activities available in the YR centres include billiards, video games, television and listening to music, with special events such as field trips e.
The authors report that all adolescents in grade eight, as well as their parents, from six communities in Orebro, Sweden, a relatively large town by national standards pop.
In total, boys and girls filled out a school-based survey, and the authors report that this total sample size of adolescents represents approximately High-structured activities were defined as 1 occurring together with others in their own age group; 2 having an adult leader; and 3 meeting at least once a week at a regular time. Adolescents who indicated attending a YR centre at least once a week on a regular basis were designated as involved in an unstructured community activity.
Adolescents were asked to indicate the frequency with which they engaged in a number of anti-social behaviours e. Finally, adolescents were asked questions regarding activity leader support in terms of how well they knew their activity leader s , whether they trusted them, and how comfortable they would feel in confiding in them. The main findings of the study are twofold. Second, involvement in the low-structured YR centres is actually associated with higher levels of anti-social behaviour and that, while this held true regardless of gender, it appeared to be especially true for boys.
Additional findings indicate that parental trust levels and support for activity involvement is significantly greater when children are involved in structured recreational activities. Participants in the study consisted of boys and their parents involved in an ongoing longitudinal investigation focusing upon individual development and adaptation.
Initial sample recruitment involved all children in grade three in in the same town discussed in the previous study, Orebro, and the authors report that the sample size in this particular study represents 96 per cent of the total sample of males at age ten. Measures incorporated into the study included social behaviour as rated by teachers and peers, peer preferences, school achievement, criminal offending, youth recreation centre involvement, parental concern for child behaviour, family SES, and caregiver status.
Initial analyses indicated that 41 per cent of the boys participated in YR centres at age 13, with 20 per cent periodically accessing them between one and four times a month and 21 per cent frequently accessing them between two and seven times per week. That is, those boys who either periodically or frequently accessed the youth centres were at a significantly increased risk for both juvenile crime and persistent offending.
Specifically, regarding juvenile offending, 44 per cent of the frequent participants were charged with juvenile offences, compared with 22 per cent of the periodic participants and 12 per cent of the non-participants. Similar patterns were found regarding persistent offending, with 22 per cent, 17 per cent, and four per cent of the frequent, periodic, and non-participant boys respectively engaging in persistent offending.
The youth recruited in were in the grade four and their average age was slightly over ten years, while those youth recruited in were in grade seven and had an average age of just over 13 years.
Additionally, the author notes that approximately 25 per cent of the sample was made up of African-American youth, a proportion nearly identical to the counties from which the sample was derived. As well, the mean SES of the sample did not significantly differ from the national average. According to official census ratings, three of the five communities from which the sample was drawn are classified as suburban metropolitan districts, with the other two are classified as rural.
Preliminary analyses identified four groups of males and females: C1 a low-risk group characterized by high social and academic competence and lower aggression; C2 a moderately low-risk group with the same characteristics as the first one plus below average SES; C3 a moderately high-risk group characterized by somewhat low social and academic competence, below average SES, and high aggression; and C4 a high-risk group characterized by a multiple risk profile, including being older than classmates, low social and academic competence, low SES, and high aggression levels.
In addition to baseline assessments being conducted at the time of recruitment, follow-up assessments were conducted in two additional waves when the youth were approximately 20 and 24 years old. Specifically, the Interpersonal Competence Scale ICS , consisting of a variety of relevant domains, was completed both by the youth and their teachers in order to assess social behaviour and academic competence.
Specifically, while rates of school dropout and arrest were concentrated in the moderately high and highest-risk groups, the majority of individuals in the highest-risk group experienced both of these negative outcomes. Together, these studies provide supportive evidence that involvement in high-structured recreational activities can significantly reduce the likelihood of youth engaging in anti-social and delinquent behaviours.
In a significant proportion of cases, these negative effects appear to lead to persistent offending Mahoney, Stattin and Magnusson, , and to the greatest degree among youth with multiple problem profiles Mahoney, In recent years, parenting styles and parental involvement have received a great degree of focus in terms of the effects that they could have on the likelihood of youth engaging in anti-social behaviour and future criminality.
A recently conducted study tested for a relationship between a lack of parental participation in recreational community activities and increased levels of criminal activity from adolescence to adulthood Mahoney and Magnusson, Participants included in the study consisted of male youth and their parents involved in the previously described Swedish longitudinal investigation, focused on individual development and adaptation in Orebro, Sweden.
This particular study included children recruited while in grade three, with over 90 per cent of them being ten years of age when first assessed. To measure parent participation in community activities, youth and their parents were surveyed regarding their involvement in organized community activities and organizations.
As well, socio-economic status was assessed through parental reports of education level when the youth were 13 years of age. Finally, criminality was measured using official records regarding any criminal offences for which the youth were arrested during their lifetime, with two arrest periods being considered: 1 juvenile arrests 12 to 17 years old , and 2 adult arrests 18 to 30 years old. Initial analyses identified five distinct configurations of boys at 13 years of age, based on scores on the three indicators of aggression, hyperactivity and achievement.
First there was a high competence configuration C1 consisting of boys with positive scores on all three indicators 14 per cent. Next there was an average competence configuration C2 consisting of boys exhibiting low aggression and hyperactivity as well as near-average achievement levels 17 per cent. Third, there was an aggressive achiever configuration C3 , consisting of boys with above-average levels of aggression and high achievement.
Next there was a low achievement configuration C4 , consisting of boys with poor academic achievement. Finally, a multiple problem profile configuration was identified C5 , consisting of boys with severely negative scores on all three indicators.
Ultimately, 45 eight per cent of the sample youth were identified as persistent offenders, with proportions by configuration ranging from one per cent in the high competence group to 23 per cent in the multiple problems group. The authors also tested for differences in parental involvement between the youth configurations. Parental involvement for either parent was lowest among configurations in which youth exhibited low achieving and multiple problem profiles. Finally, analyses were conducted to test for possible effects that parental involvement in community activities might have on rates of youth offending.
Poor quality of communication within families has been linked to a number of negative outcomes regarding adolescent behaviours Brosnan and Carr, ; Oman, Vesely and Aspy, ; Stith, A recently conducted study examined the influence that varying levels of challenging outdoor recreational activities aimed at involving both youth and their parents might have on improving parent-adolescent communication Huff, Widmer, McCoy and Hill, In total the study involved 32 predominantly Caucasian families from Arizona, with 23 of the families completing different levels of challenging recreational activities.
The average age of the youth contributing data to the study was slightly over 15 years of age and the average age of the parents was 46 years of age. Family size varied slightly between groups, with an average size of 4. Each family consisted of at least one parent and included at least one adolescent deemed to at risk for engaging in anti-social behaviour and criminal offending.
The authors report that identified risks included opposition and defiance, substance abuse, low school achievement, negative family and peer relations, and depression.
The authors relate that the programs were designed to include a number of similarities, with each program involving families learning a variety of skills, including Native American craft-making, leather-crafting, wood-carving, cooking, and outdoor survival skills. As well, each program lasted three nights and four days and one staff member was assigned to each family in each program. However, the three programs differed considerably in terms of the level of challenge families experienced.
Unlike the survival trek, families were provided with all ingredients for their meals, including fresh fruit, bagels, cookies and meat. As well, fresh water and portable outhouses were readily available to the families.
Ranch staff prepared all meals and participants had access to outhouses, hot showers, and fresh water. The primary quantitative measurement tool used within the study was the revised Parent-Adolescent Communication Scale PARCS used to assess the quality of communication within each family.
Questions ranged from broad ones regarding family communication to ones focused upon specific issues such as trust, affection, support and conflict resolution.
The PARCS was administered separately to the youth and their parents at pre- and post-intervention times, with the control group also contributing data on two separate occasions. Analyses conducted involved combining data collected from the youth and their parents in order to create a single model of family communication.
Additionally, qualitative analyses identified four themes as being important components of the outdoors recreational program. As well, it appears that having parents and their children actively participate in challenging activities together can significantly increase the quality of communication in families, and thus decrease the likelihood that youth will engage in future delinquent and criminal behaviours.
Regarding offending rates and incarceration rates, both among adults and youth, there is a great overrepresentation of visible minorities, and specifically of Aboriginal and Black males Doob and Cesaroni, A recently published review paper identified three cultural concepts, acculturation, ethnic identity, and bicultural self-efficacy, and the nature of their relationship with known risk and protective factors associated with youth violence Soriano, Rivera, Williams, Daley and Reznick, For the purposes of the review the authors incorporated operational definitions of each concept.
Higher levels of both ethnic identity and bicultural self-efficacy are considered to be protective factors against involvement in youth violence.
The review identified a number of unique relationships regarding the three cultural concepts and their relationship to known risk and protective factors linked to youth violence. In contrast, higher levels of ethnic identity were found to act as protective factors against substance use Newcomb, ; Townsend, , engaging in violence Terrell and Taylor, , and general levels of aggression and delinquent behaviour Buriel, Calzada and Vasquez, ; Jagers and Mock, As well, it was found that individuals exhibiting higher levels of ethnic identity were better in dealing with interpersonal conflict Ting-Tommey et al.
An earlier study employed experimental methods while investigating the possible effects that structured recreational activities with a focus upon increasing cultural awareness might have on self-esteem and, subsequently, rates of violence among African-American youth Okwumabua, Wong, Duryea, Okwumabua and Howell,