Article

Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal

, Volume 28, Issue 4, pp 319-334

Challenges and Strategies for Conducting Program-Based Research in After-School Settings

  • Kimberly BenderAffiliated withGraduate School of Social Work, University of Denver Email author 
  • , Daniel BrissonAffiliated withGraduate School of Social Work, University of Denver
  • , Jeffrey M. JensonAffiliated withGraduate School of Social Work, University of Denver
  • , Shandra Forrest-BankAffiliated withGraduate School of Social Work, University of Denver
  • , Amy LopezAffiliated withGraduate School of Social Work, University of Denver
  • , Jamie YoderAffiliated withGraduate School of Social Work, University of Denver

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Abstract

Findings from children and youth who participated in structured after-school interventions in four urban public housing communities are used to illustrate the complexities of conducting program-based research in after-school settings. Findings from four field investigations reveal the importance of family support, reading skills, parent involvement, and positive peers in engaging youth in services, developing academic skills and avoiding involvement in problem behavior. Challenges in conducting program-based research and lessons learned from each of the four studies are discussed in the context of social work practice and after-school programming for at-risk children and youth.

Keywords

At-risk youth After-school programs Evaluation