Participation in a summer sport-based youth development program for disadvantaged youth: Getting the parent perspective
The purpose of this study was to explore the impact of low-income youth participation in a summer sport-based positive youth development (PYD) program on individual, parent, family, and community level outcomes. Specific mechanisms that contribute to program outcomes also were explored. Ten parents of youth participating in a summer sport-based PYD program were interviewed using a semi-structured interview guide. Parents identified key outcomes at the individual, parent, family and community level, such as youth biopsychosocial development and positive changes in affect, parents' peace of mind due to child involvement, improved family interactions, youth involvement in prosocial activities, and community interaction/support. Key mechanisms contributing to these outcomes point to the importance of program characteristics such as the qualities and roles of counselors, incorporation of lessons for sport and life, opportunities for peer/family interactions, program structure, and the provision of resources. Findings provide qualitative evidence of the value of sport-based PYD summer programs, as well as point to important mechanisms that may guide program design in this emergent field of practice.
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