Participation in youth programming fosters positive developmental outcomes for youth, yet recruitment and retention are ongoing challenges. Given the imbalance in rates of participation of ethnic minority youth, compared with White youth, it is important to gain a greater understanding of the contextual factors that promote or inhibit participation. In this study, the authors considered whether elements of positive youth programming, specifically youth voice and supportive relationships, would reduce potential barriers to continued program participation. Consistent with the extant literature, supportive relationships reduced potential barriers to continuing participation. The key finding from the study, however, showed that youth voice increased potential barriers to participation for ethnic minority youth but not for White youth. The implications for research and practice are discussed.
- extracurricular activity
- racial/ethnic identity