skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 220282 Find in a Library
Title: Engagement in After-School Program Activities: Quality of Experience From the Perspective of Participants
Journal: Journal of Youth and Adolescence  Volume:36  Issue:7  Dated:October 2007  Pages:891-903
Author(s): David Jordan Shernoff; Deborah Lowe Vandell
Date Published: October 2007
Page Count: 13
Sponsoring Agency: Charles Stewart Mott Foundation
Flint, MI 48502
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study tracked the experiences of after-school program participants as they engaged in activities and interacted with different social partners in order to determine subjective experience in selected after-school program activities and social partner categories.
Abstract: The results revealed that the positive experience of youth while playing sports and during arts enrichments activities both in terms of intrinsic motivation and concentrated effort--a combination characteristic of positive youth engagement and development--suggests additional justification to maintain or increase resources for programs in the sports and arts. Programs maximized students’ experience by reducing idle time for socializing while maximizing structured, adult-supervised activities. Data were collected from eight middle schools in two medium sized cities and one small town in three Midwestern States. All participating schools offered after-school programs; five offered federally funded 21st Century Community Learning Centers, the remaining programs were funded by local school districts and city governments. The study provided an estimate of the percentage of time after-school participants spent in various activities: sports comprised almost one-third of all time spent in the middle school after-school programs, 12 percent in arts, 11 percent socializing, and 8 percent in homework completion activities. These activities are the mainstays of the after-school programs studied. Students reported high levels of engagement while participating in sports activities and arts enrichment activities at the after-school programs, and low levels of engagement while completing homework at programs. Additionally, they reported being more engaged in activities involving both adults and peers than in activities with peers only. Both activities elicited the rare combination of high intrinsic motivation and concentration critical for positive youth developments. Inconsistent with previous research, negative affect--worry, stress, anger--were not high in sports relative to other after-school activities. Negative affect of socializing was reported as low, but positive affect and intrinsic motivation were not as high as expected. Students’ experiences of homework were decisively negative, characterized as high in apathy and low in engagement. Tables, references
Main Term(s): Juvenile program evaluation; Youth development
Index Term(s): Federal programs; Juvenile diversion programs; Youth centers
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.