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ERIC Number: EJ1215876
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2019
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1740-8989
REACH Harlem: Young Urban Boys' Experiences in an After-School PA Positive Youth Development Program
Marttinen, Risto; Johnston, Kelly; Phillips, Sharon; Fredrick, Ray N.; Meza, Brianna
Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, v24 n4 p373-389 2019
Background: After-school approaches offer a viable solution to the current challenge of physical inactivity among many adolescents; however, availability, cost, transportation, and interest limit many youths' choices during non-school hours [Roth, Brooks-Gunn, Murray, and Foster 2003. "Youth Development Programs: Risk, Prevention and Policy." "Journal of Adolescent Health" 32 (3): 170-182]. In addition to these limitations, safety concerns in urban communities act as barriers to participation in both after-school programs [Sanderson and Richards 2010. "The After-School Needs and Resources of a Low-income Urban Community: Surveying Youth and Parents for Community Change." "American Journal of Community Psychology" 45: 430-440] and physical activity [Moore, Roux, Evenson, McGinn, and Brines 2010. "A Qualitative Examination of Perceived Barriers and Facilitators of Physical Activity for Urban and Rural Youth." "Health Education Research" 25 (2): 355-367]. Purpose: This year-long qualitative case study sought to explore young urban boys' experiences in an after-school program that aimed to empower young men through the sport of basketball. Method: Two coaches facilitated weekly sessions for 5-20 young men of color in an urban, public school after-school program in Harlem, NY. The program recruited young men to an after-school program that offered basketball instruction in a safe space. During the program, students worked on basketball skills as well as reflective reading and writing through weekly journals and immersive conversations that revolved around weekly themes such as sportsmanship, culture, power, and communication. At the conclusion of the study seven boys aged 10-14 agreed to be interviewed about their experiences in the REACH program. Sources of data include journals, interviews, and observations. These data were coded by two independent coders, peer reviewed by a third researcher and analyzed using the constant comparative method. Findings: Theme one: "Shooting guns (violence) is a barrier to shooting hoops at local courts." Analysis of the data highlighted violence as an always-present barrier to playing basketball, specifically, and physical activity, generally speaking. Theme two: "Future plans, the NBA." The vast majority of boys discussed joining the NBA, either directly from high school or after a year at a college. The NBA dream operated as a perceived pathway to a safer future and higher education. Theme three: "Having and being role models." Analysis of the data also pointed to participants both being and/or having a role model. These relationships impacted them in a variety of ways and not only helps us better understand their experiences in the program but also elucidates how barriers to physical activity were alleviated. The young men who participated in this after-school program were able to engage in interest-based physical activity and academic learning tasks, thus creating a peaceful space to develop positive associations between school, physical activity, and community. Conclusion: Closely examining the lived experiences of the REACH participants is significant for understanding their barriers to physical activity and how REACH, as a PYD sport program, alleviated those barriers. Examining the data around these issues also expands on the need for PYD programs [Wright and Li 2009. "Exploring the Relevance of Positive Youth Development in Urban Physical Education." "Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy" 14 (3): 241-251] and extends understandings of the PYD framework put forth by Holt et al. [2017. "A Grounded Theory of Positive Youth Development Through Sport Based on Results From a Qualitative Meta-Study." "International Review of Sport and Exercise Psychology" 10: 1-49]. Specifically, our study demonstrates the reciprocal and iterative nature of PYD climate, life skills focus, and PYD outcomes. Our study also expands on the understandings of PYD climate, extending the focus beyond relationships to also including participants' experiences and perceptions.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New York (New York)
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A