Creating a logical model of positive youth development through a multiple instrumental case study
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Though positive youth development (PYD) interventions heavily utilize recreational contexts, there has been little focus within research on examining these contexts themselves and developing knowledge on what features and processes allow for them to be conducive of positive developmental outcomes in youth. Consequently, a model of program delivery for recreational organizations to be conducive of PYD based on empirical data does not currently exist. Thus, many programs experience varying levels of success while some others are cancelled after short amounts of time. The intent of this study was to disseminate a model, through a multiple case study methodology, that acts as a framework or guide for (1) designing recreational programs to facilitate PYD and (2) evaluating and identifying these PYD outcomes. A multiple case study methodology was utilized. Data were collected from three non-profit recreational organizations, each acting as a single instrumental case, that all have a mandate in place for PYD and a reputation for success in their respective communities. Key findings were used to create the model. Qualitative data were collected on what study participants (program staff and youth) perceived as being the positive developmental outcomes experienced by youth participants and the mechanisms utilized to realize these outcomes. Several unique findings and innovative practices are presented here that can inform PYD aimed recreation organizations on methods to deal with several challenges and issues faced by them on a regular basis.