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Using Students’ Weekly Diaries to Evaluate Positive Youth Development Programs: Are Findings Based on Multiple Studies Consistent?

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Asking clients to document their perceived quality of life during and after intervention is a popular approach employed by helping professionals to evaluate intervention programs. In the Project Positive Adolescent Training through Holistic Social Programmes (P.A.T.H.S.), students participating in the Experimental Implementation Phase and Full Implementation Phase were invited to write reflective journals in the form of weekly diaries to reveal their perceptions and feelings regarding the program and the perceived benefits of the program. Based on multiple studies, results showed that the respondents generally (a) had positive views on the program, (b) had positive views on the instructors, and (c) perceived that they had acquired competencies at the societal, familial, interpersonal and personal levels and their quality of life was promoted after joining the program. Acknowledging the limitations of diaries, the present qualitative findings provide support for the effectiveness of the Tier 1 Program of the Project P.A.T.H.S. in Hong Kong.

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The preparation for this paper and the Project P.A.T.H.S. were financially supported by the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust.

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Correspondence to Daniel T. L. Shek.

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Shek, D.T.L. Using Students’ Weekly Diaries to Evaluate Positive Youth Development Programs: Are Findings Based on Multiple Studies Consistent?. Soc Indic Res 95, 475–487 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11205-009-9532-8

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  • Weekly diaries
  • Positive youth development
  • Chinese adolescents
  • Qualitative evaluation