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ERIC Number: EJ1175037
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018
Pages: 9
Abstractor: ERIC
Youth-Led Participatory Action Research: Promoting Youth Voice and Adult Support in Afterschool Programs
Anyon, Yolanda; Kennedy, Heather; Durbahn, Rebecca; Jenson, Jeffrey M.
Afterschool Matters, n27 p10-18 Spr 2018
How can afterschool programs engage middle school students of color as they enter their teenage years? The authors asked this question while working with the Bridge Project, a drop-in community-based academic enrichment program serving low-income children and adolescents of color living in public housing in Denver, Colorado. Faced with dwindling enrollment among middle school participants, they turned to the research literature for guidance about how to respond to early adolescents' increasing desire for independence while also keeping them connected to the program. Youth-led participatory action research (YPAR) is an approach that is designed to support participants' self-determination and increase power-sharing between youth and adults. The authors piloted a YPAR program to assess whether middle school participants increased their perceptions of (1) opportunities for voice and choice in the program, such as planning and leading activities or making rules, and (2) supportive relationships with program staff who listen, show respect, and care about their ideas. They surveyed YPAR participants and a comparison group to chart the change they experienced on these two dimensions during nine months of programming. This article shares the results of their study, which has implications for OST programs interested in retaining participants during the transition from childhood to early adolescence.
National Institute on Out-of-School Time. Wellesley Centers for Women, 106 Central Street, Wellesley, MA 02481. Tel: 781-283-2547; Fax: 781-283-3657; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Colorado (Denver)
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A