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ERIC Number: EJ933285
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Jan
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 65
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0012-1649
How Youth Get Engaged: Grounded-Theory Research on Motivational Development in Organized Youth Programs
Dawes, Nickki Pearce; Larson, Reed
Developmental Psychology, v47 n1 p259-269 Jan 2011
For youth to benefit from many of the developmental opportunities provided by organized programs, they need to not only attend but become psychologically engaged in program activities. This research was aimed at formulating empirically based grounded theory on the processes through which this engagement develops. Longitudinal interviews were conducted with 100 ethnically diverse youth (ages 14-21) in 10 urban and rural arts and leadership programs. Qualitative analysis focused on narrative accounts from the 44 youth who reported experiencing a positive turning point in their motivation or engagement. For 38 of these youth, this change process involved forming a personal connection. Similar to processes suggested by self-determination theory (Ryan & Deci, 2000), forming a personal connection involved youth's progressive integration of personal goals with the goals of program activities. Youth reported developing a connection to 3 personal goals that linked the self with the activity: learning for the future, developing competence, and pursuing a purpose. The role of purpose for many youth suggests that motivational change can be driven by goals that transcend self-needs. These findings suggest that youth need not enter programs intrinsically engaged--motivation can be fostered--and that programs should be creative in helping youth explore ways to form authentic connections to program activities. (Contains 1 table.)
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail: order@apa.org; Web site: http://www.apa.org/publications
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A