Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

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

  • 405 Accesses

  • 29 Citations

Abstract

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.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References

  1. Catalano, R. F., Berglund, M. L., Ryan, J. A. M., Lonczak, H. S., & Hawkins, J. D. (2002). Positive youth development in the United States: Research findings on evaluations of positive youth development programs. Prevention and Treatment, 5(1).

  2. Chatterji, M. (2004). Evidence on “what works”: An argument for extended-term mixed method (ETMM) evaluation designs. Educational Researcher, 33, 3–13.

  3. Cohen, J. (1994). The earth is round (p < .05). American Psychologist, 49, 997–1003.

  4. Damon, W. (2004). What is positive youth development? Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 591, 13–24.

  5. Felce, D., & Perry, J. (1995). Quality of life: Its definition and measurement. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 16, 51–74.

  6. Ginsberg, L. H. (2001). Social work evaluation: Principles and methods. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.

  7. Graczyk, P. A., Weissberg, R. P., Payton, J. W., Elias, M. J., Greenberg, M. T., & Zins, J. E. (2000). Criteria for evaluating the quality of school-based social and emotional learning programs. In R. Bar-On & J. D. A. Parker (Eds.), The handbook of emotional intelligence (pp. 391–409). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

  8. Guerra, N. G., & Williams, K. R. (2003). Implementation of school-based wellness centres. Psychology in the Schools, 40, 473–487.

  9. Maxwell, J. A. (2004). Causal explanation, qualitative research, and scientific inquiry in journal item: Education. Educational Researcher, 33, 3–11.

  10. Miles, M. B., & Huberman, A. M. (1994). Qualitative data analysis. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

  11. Patton, M. Q. (1987). How to use qualitative methods in evaluation. Newbury Park, CA.: Sage.

  12. Patton, M. Q. (1990). Qualitative evaluation and research methods. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.

  13. Patton, M. Q. (1997). Utilization-focused evaluation: The new century text. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

  14. Patton, M. Q. (2002). Two decades of developments in qualitative inquiry: A personal, experiential perspective. Qualitative Social Work, 1, 261–283.

  15. Roth, J., Brooks-Gunn, J., Murray, L., & Foster, W. (1998). Promoting healthy adolescents: Synthesis of youth development program evaluations. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 8, 423–459.

  16. Rothwell, A., & Ghelipter, S. (2003). The developing manager: Reflective learning in undergraduate management education. Reflective Practice, 4, 241–254.

  17. Schmitz, B., & Wiese, B. S. (2006). New perspectives for evaluation of training sessions in self-regulated learning: Time-series analyses of diary data. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 31, 64–96.

  18. Shaver, J. P. (1993). What statistical significance testing is, and what it is not. Journal of Experimental Education, 61, 293–316.

  19. Shek, D. T. L. (2006). Effectiveness of the Tier 1 program of the project P.A.T.H.S.: Preliminary objective and subjective outcome evaluation findings. TheScientificWorldJournal, 6, 1466–1474.

  20. Shek, D. T. L. (2008). Special issue: Evaluation of project P.A.T.H.S. in Hong Kong. TheScientificWorldJournal, 8, 1–94.

  21. Shek, D. T. L., & Ma, H. K. (2007). Subjective outcome evaluation of the project P.A.T.H.S.: Findings based on the perspective of the program participants. TheScientificWorldJournal, 7, 47–55.

  22. Shek, D. T. L., Ma, H. K., Lui, J. H. Y., & Lung, D. W. M. (2006). Process evaluation of the Tier 1 program of the project P.A.T.H.S. TheScientificWorldJournal, 1, 300–309.

  23. Shek, D. T. L., Ma, H. K., & Merrick, J. (Eds.). (2007). Positive youth development: Development of a pioneering program in a Chinese context. London: Freund.

  24. Shek, D. T. L., Tang, V., & Han, X. Y. (2005). Quality of qualitative evaluation studies in the social work literature: Evidence that constitutes a wakeup call. Research on Social Work Practice, 15, 180–194.

  25. Slayton, J., & Llosa, L. (2005). The use of qualitative methods in large-scale evaluation: Improving the quality of the evaluation and the meaningfulness of the findings. Teachers College Record, 107, 2543–2565.

  26. Tashakkori, A., & Teddlie, C. (1998). Mixed methodology: Combining qualitative and quantitative approaches. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

  27. Wallander, J. L., Schmitt, M., & Koot, H. M. (2001). Quality of life measurement in children and adolescents: Issues, instruments and applications. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 57, 571–585.

  28. Weissberg, R. P., & O’Brien, M. U. (2004). What works in school-based social and emotional learning programs for positive youth development. Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 591, 86–97.

Download references

Acknowledgment

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

Author information

Correspondence to Daniel T. L. Shek.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

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

Download citation

Keywords

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