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ERIC Number: ED562184
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 18
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 48
Effects of After-School Programs on Attendance and Externalizing Behaviors with Primary and Secondary School Students: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Maynard, Brandy R.; Kremer, Kristen P.; Polanin, Joshua R.; Vaughn, Michael G.; Sarteschi, Christine M.
Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness
Over the past two decades, the number and types of after-school programs (ASPs) have increased substantially as a result of increased federal and private spending and because ASPs are perceived to provide wide-ranging and far-reaching benefits to students, families, schools and the public. The purpose of this systematic review and meta-analysis is 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. The specific questions guiding this review were: (1) What are the effects of ASPs on school attendance with at-risk students who attend an ASP compared to at-risk students who do not attend an ASP?; (2) What are the effects of ASPs on externalizing behavioral outcomes with at-risk students who attend an ASP compared to at-risk students who do not attend an ASP?; and (3) Are there study, participant or program characteristics that moderate effects of ASPs? Studies included in this review were conducted in any setting that housed an ASP (e.g., school, community organization, church). 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. Systematic review methodology, following the Campbell Collaboration procedures and guidelines (Campbell Collaboration, 2014), was used for all aspects of the search, retrieval, selection, and coding of published and unpublished studies meeting study inclusion criteria. Meta-analysis was used to quantitatively synthesize results across studies. Twenty-four studies reported in 31 reports were included in the review. ASPs receive overwhelming positive support and significant resources; however, the overall lack of rigorous studies assessing effects of ASPs and the lack of significant effects of ASPs on attendance and externalizing behaviors found in this review, along with discrepant findings of prior reviews, provide some impetus for us to reconsider the purpose of ASPs and the way ASPs are designed and implemented. For school attendance, the evidence from this review converges with prior quantitative and narrative reviews. Simply, ASPs have not demonstrated significant effects on school attendance. Tables and figures are appended.
Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness. 2040 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208. Tel: 202-495-0920; Fax: 202-640-4401; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Information Analyses
Education Level: Primary Education; Early Childhood Education; Elementary Education; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness (SREE)
Identifiers - Location: Australia; Canada; Ireland; United Kingdom; United States