In this study we assess improvement in civic engagement skills following youth leadership program participation, as well as the program quality components related to youth civic engagement skill development. Participants included 320 youth, ages 12–18, from 5 different youth programs nationwide that included a community advocacy component who completed self-report surveys at pre- and post- test. Using hierarchical multiple regression analyses, we assessed the role of program quality components of skill-building, leadership opportunities, positive adult relationships, as well as the additional component of equitable climate, in increased civic engagement skills. Results indicate that youth participating in positive youth development programs report a significant increase in civic engagement skills. Results further indicate that skill-building opportunities and equitable climate are associated with higher civic engagement scores among youth.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors gratefully acknowledge funding provided by the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA-NIFA) through a cooperative agreement with the University of Minnesota and Pennsylvania State University under Grant 2018-41520-28908.
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- Civic engagement
- Extracurricular activity
- Longitudinal design