Do Community Arts Programs Promote Positive Youth Development?
Authors: Robin Wright, M.S.W., Ph.D., Associate Professor, School of Social Work, University of Windsor; Lindsay John, Ph.D., M.S.W., M.Sc., John Associates; Ramona Alaggia, M.S.W., Ph.D., Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON; Eric Duku, M.Sc., P.Stat., Offord Centre for Child Studies, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON; Tanya Morton, M.S.W., Ph.D. Candidate,
This study reports on the multi-method longitudinal examination of a structured arts program (combination of theatre, visual and media arts) for youth, aged 9 to 15 years, from a low-income community in Hillsborough County in Tampa, Florida. Evaluated were the extent to which the community-based organization could recruit and retain youth in the program and whether they demonstrated improvement with respect to artistic ability and psychosocial indicators. The results suggest successful recruitment and sustained attendance rates. The study employed a multilevel growth curve analyses of observational and behavioral outcomes which showed significant gains in artistic and social skills, and a significant reduction in emotional problems. The contention that community arts programs promote positive youth development is supported by this study.
Published by: University of Windsor
Publication Date: 2008