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When and Why After-School Programs Support Children’s Development Deborah Lowe Vandell University of Wisconsin April 30, 2003.

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Presentation on theme: "When and Why After-School Programs Support Children’s Development Deborah Lowe Vandell University of Wisconsin April 30, 2003."— Presentation transcript:

1 When and Why After-School Programs Support Children’s Development Deborah Lowe Vandell University of Wisconsin April 30, 2003

2 Several Factors Have Contributed to an Increased Interest in After-School Programs High rates of maternal employment –69% of married mothers and 71% of single mothers of 6- to 17-year-olds are employed Concerns about –negative effects of self-care –youth as victims and perpetrators of crime –lagging academic performance Inequities in access to after-school activities and programs

3 After-School Programs Narrowly Defined and Broadly Defined Narrow definition – programs that are offered by schools or other organizations on a daily basis throughout the year Broad definition – includes extracurricular activities, sports, clubs, and activities that are offered on a regularly scheduled basis by schools, libraries, and youth organizations

4 Variations in After-School Programs Homework clubs Preparation for standardized tests Extension of the school day Science, math, & computer clubs Organized sports and recreational sports Music, drama Arts and crafts 4-H, Scouts, YMCA

5 Current After-School Initiatives 21 st Century Community Learning Centers –40M in 1997; $1B in 2002; –1.2 million students participated in programs located at 3600 schools in 2001 –2,252 applications for funding; 310 awards in 2000 –Future funding is uncertain Boys and Girls Clubs State-level initiatives –California’s After School Learning and Safe Neighborhoods Partnership (30,000 children) Local initiatives –L.A.’s Best, The After-School Corp (TASC)

6 Limitations of Previous Research “Evaluation of after-school activities is still limited. Often the information about a program is based on the opinions of experts instead of formal evaluations.” (Working for Children and Families, 2000, p. 7) “Circumstances surrounding the type of care provided, the kinds of students who attended the different programs, and what the programs themselves entailed, have rarely been studied in detail.” (Fashola, 1998, p. 3) Failure to control for family background and child’s prior functioning Failure to consider variations in program quality

7 Programs are more likely to have beneficial effects…. when program quality is higher

8 Study of Varying Quality After-School Programs Longitudinal study 150 children recruited in first grade from 30 after- school programs Child functioning in 1 st – 3 rd grades Program quality assessed at least twice yearly Include controls for family background and child prior functioning

9 Developmental theory and after-school practitioners argue that high quality programs provide students with opportunities to Form supportive relationships with adults Form supportive relationships with peers Engage in substantive activities that are meaningful to students

10 In previous research, my colleagues and I found: Children report less emotional support when after-school staff are hostile and negative. Children report more positive experiences at programs that offer a greater variety of activities. Boys display fewer internalizing and externalizing problems in 1st grade when program staff interact more positively with children. Boys obtain lower reading and math grades when program staff are more negative during interactions. Frequent negative interactions with peers at the program predict more internalizing and externalizing problems, and poorer social skills, at school. Children display better social skills at school when their after-school programs are more flexible.

11 Measures of After-School Program Quality School-Age Care Environment Rating Scale (SACERS) Observers’ ratings of program quality Child reports: After-School Environment Scale (ASES)

12 SACERS 6 program features (space & furnishings; h ealth and safety; range of activities; interactions between staff and children, parents, classroom teachers, & other staff; program structure; staff development) rated on 7- point scales Collected four times in 2 nd grade, three times in 3 rd grade, Settings were typically minimal quality (M = 4.0 in 2 nd grade and 4.4 in 3 rd grade).

13 Qualitative Ratings of Program Quality Collected 4 times in 2 nd grade and 3 times in 1 st and 3 rd grades Ratings were averaged to create annual overall observed quality scores (after reflecting negative regard, negative behavior management, and chaos) Good reliability (M alpha =.76; range =.61 -.85)

14 Qualitative Ratings Staff positive regard Staff negative regard Staff uses positive behavior management Staff uses negative behavior management Programming flexibility Age-appropriate activities Chaotic setting

15 Child Report of Program Quality After-School Environment Scale (ASES; Rosenthal & Vandell, 1996) Collected twice a year 18 items in 1 st and 2 nd grade rated on 3-pt scales; 31 items thereafter rated on 4-pt scales Overall score (M = 2.4, sd =.4 in 1 st and 2 nd grades; M = 3.0, sd =.6 in 3 rd grade) Emotional Support (19 items) Autonomy/Privacy (6 items) Positive Relations with Peer (6 items)

16 Cumulative Program Quality Mean program quality (Grades 1 & 2)  2 nd grade functioning Mean program quality (Grades 1 & 2 & 3)  3 rd grade functioning

17 Measures of Child Functioning DomainSourceMeasure Academic grades TMock Report Card Work habits T(Pierce, Hamm, & Vandell) Social Skills T Loneliness CLoneliness and Social Dissatisfaction (Asher, Hymel, & Renshaw) Depression CChildren’s Depression Inventory (Kovacs)

18 Analytic Plan Model 1: Child and family characteristics Child gender Prior child functioning (measured in 1 st grade) Firm but responsive parenting (measured cumulatively) Family income (measured cumulatively) Model 2: Cumulative program quality added Model 3: Cumulative program quality X child gender added

19 Academic Grades Grade 2Grade 3 N = 105N = 74 Model 1 (R 2 ).533 ***.454 *** Child & family characteristics Model 2 (change in R 2 ).037 **.051 ** Qualitative ratings composite Model 3 (change in R 2 )ns Ratings composite X gender

20 Work Habits Grade 2Grade 3 N = 105N = 74 Model 1 (R 2 ).465 ***.353 *** Child & family characteristics Model 2 (change in R 2 )ns.033 p<.06 Qualitative ratings composite Model 3 (change in R 2 )ns.045 * Ratings composite X genderstronger for girls

21 Social Skills Grade 2Grade 3 N = 105N = 74 Model 1 (R 2 ).427 ***.387 *** Child & family characteristics Model 2 (change in R 2 )ns Qualitative ratings composite Model 3 (change in R 2 )ns.061 ** Ratings composite X genderstronger for girls

22 Loneliness Grade 2Grade 3 N = 119N = 89 Model 1 (R 2 ).249 ***.493 ** Child & family characteristics Model 2 (change in R 2 )NA.030 * Child perspective Model 3 (change in R 2 )NA.021 * Child perspective X gender stronger for girls

23 Loneliness Grade 2Grade 3 N = 119N = 89 Model 2B (change in R 2 ).085 **.106 *** Emotional support (beta) -.314 ** Peer affiliation (beta) NA-.345 *** Autonomy (beta) NA

24 Depression Grade 2Grade 3 N = 119N = 90 Model 1 (R 2 ).372 ***.251 *** Child & family characteristics Model 2 (change in R 2 ).085 ** Child perspective Model 3 (change in R 2 ) ns Child perspective X gender NA

25 Depression Grade 2Grade 3 N = 119N = 90 Model 2B (change in R 2 ).163 *** Emotional support (beta) -.344 ** Peer affiliation (beta) NA -.336 *** Autonomy (beta) NA.095 ***

26 Programs are more likely to have effects…. when children attend them for more days

27 Safe Haven Evaluation –4 school-based after-school programs serving 152 students grades 3 to 5 –ASES scores (M = 2.7, sd =.3, range 2.6 – 2.9) –Student characteristics 77% free or reduced lunch 71% children of color 49% single parent households 47% males –Program attendance varied from 1 to 163 days (median = 92 days)

28 Controlling for prior child functioning, children who attended programs for more days Had fewer absences from school (-.34*) Were rated by teachers as –having better work habits (.27*) –Working well with others (.23+)

29 TASC Evaluation 96 programs 12,973 very active participants 17,805 active participants 8,104 non-active participants 39,870 non-participants Math and reading gains, and decreased problem behaviors for very active participants vs. non- participants

30 Program Effects Also Are More Evident For Low-income children (Grossman; Marshall; Pettit; Posner & Vandell; TASC) Children with limited English proficiency (TASC evaluation) Low achieving students (TASC)

31 Why are after-school programs beneficial?

32 Experience Sampling Study 191 low-income 8 th grade students 8 school-based programs in 3 communities Students wore watches that beeped 35 times during 1 wk in the fall and 35 times during 1 wk in the spring Beeps occurred at random times during the after- school hours, evenings, and weekends

33 Students Completed Logbooks For each signal, students recorded –Who they were with –Where they were –What they were doing –How they were feeling –Levels of effort, concentration, motivation

34 On average, students responded to 33 of the 35 signals during the week. 12,143 after-school, evening, and weekend experiences were reported. 5, 136 of the experiences occurred after school.

35 Student Activities at Programs and Elsewhere ActivityNo programNot at program At program Homework6.37.110.6*** Enrichment5.76.719.2*** Eating11.07.5*2.6** TV19.519.20.6*** Sports5.44.932.4*** Volunteer Service 0.1 3.5***

36 Differences in Supervision No program Not at program At Program Unsupervised peers 16.721.07.2*** Supervised Peers 26.426.091.1*** No adults38.4 7.5*** Alone12.911.70.0 Sib care5.83.50.1

37 Differences in Motivation, Effort, and Feelings No programNot at program At program Motivation2.72.93.0*** Effort1.9 2.5*** Importance2.42.52.9*** Idle1.41.51.4*** Positivity2.22.32.5*** Negativity1.31.21.3

38 The NICHD Study of Early Child Care is well- suited to examining the effects of before/after- school care 10 research sites Prospective longitudinal design Large and diverse sample (n = 933) Extensive measures of family background, early child care, and child prior functioning

39 Study Participants Recruitment Sample N = 1,364 52% boys 24% children of color 11% moms not high school graduates 14% single mothers 1 st Grade Sample N = 933 50% boys 20% children of color 10% moms not high school graduates 11% single mothers

40 Maternal Reports of Before/After- School Arrangements 4 telephone interviews (K fall & spring; 1 st grade fall and spring) Time spent each weekday between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. in each of 11 nonmaternal care arrangements

41 Five Types of Before/After-School Arrangements Before/after-school programs Extracurricular activities Sitter care Father care Nonadult care

42 Cumulative Participation Scores were Created Mean hours in the care arrangements were skewed, so dichotomous (yes/no) participation scores at each of the 4 interviews were created Cumulative participation scores were based on the proportion of interviews (2 in K, 2 in 1 st grade) in which each type of care was used –Never –Sometimes –Consistently

43 Percentage of Children (n = 933) Who Never, Sometimes, and Consistently Participated in Different Types of Out-of-School Arrangements (Children Can Have Multiple Arrangements) NeverSometimesConsistently Programs602515 Extracurricular 205327 Sitter145828 Father255223 Nonadult72253

44 Family Predictors Maternal employment hours Parenting –Observed –Endorsed strategies Demographic factors –Family income –Household structure –Race and ethnicity –Maternal education Full day vs half-day kindergarten Early child care –M hours 3-54 months –% center care –% child care homes –% father care –M quality 6-54 months –Exclusive maternal care 3- 54 months (yes = 1)

45 Child Predictors Gender Behavior problems – 54 months –CBCL Language competence – 54 months –Preschool Language Scale

46 Examination of Relations between Before/After-School Care and Child Developmental Outcomes Multivariate analyses of covariance (covariates were all family factors in previous analyses, matching child outcome variables at 54 months, & child gender), followed by ANCOVAs and pairwise t-tests Time (never, sometimes, consistently) in 5 types of care entered simultaneously

47 Child Developmental Outcomes: First Grade Academic outcomes –Woodcock-Johnson: Letter- word identification –Woodcock-Johnson: Applied problems –Academic grades –Teacher-reported work habits Social outcomes – teacher report –Behavior problems –Social skills Social outcomes - mother report –Behavior problems –Social skills

48 Participation in Extracurricular Activities was Associated with Academic Outcomes MANCOVA F (8, 1656) = 2.23, p <.05 ANCOVAs –Letter-word identification (p <.05) –Applied problems (p <.001)

49 Academic Achievement of Children who Never, Sometimes, and Consistently Participated in Extracurricular Activities Letter-wordApplied problems Never111.1 a 112.0 a Sometimes112.4 a 111.8 a Consistently115.5 b 116.1 b

50 Number and Duration of Extracurricular Activities in a Week Children who participated in extracurricular activities typically had a single activity each week. Very few children had more than 2 activities. Children who participated in extracurricular activities typically spent between 1 and 3 hrs a week in the activities

51 Types of Extracurricular Activities Team sports (21-34%) Individual sports (18-27%) Dance & music lessons (17-32%) Youth organizations (7-18%) Tutoring (0-1%) Academic enrichment (2-4%)

52 Father Care was Associated with Teacher-Reported Social Outcomes MANCOVA – F (6,1680) = 2.36, p =.03 ANCOVA –Less externalizing behavior (p <.05)

53 Externalizing Behaviors (T scores) of Children Who Never, Sometimes, and Consistently Received Father Care Never52.2 a Sometimes51.6 a Consistent50.0 b

54 Participation in other types of before/after- school care was not associated with child functioning in first grade

55 Conclusions Consistent participation in extracurricular activities during kindergarten and first grade was associated with children’s academic achievement. Voluntary structured activities during nonschool hours may have beneficial effects on student performance at school.

56 Next Steps Relations between After-School Experiences and Students’ Academic, Social, and Behavioral Functioning Study of Promising Programs Longitudinal Study of After-School Arrangements - SECCYD Academic vs. extracurricular activities

57 for more information

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