Latent class analysis (LCA) was used to explore heterogeneity in experience of program quality among 2120 at-risk youth participating in youth development programs across the United States and to assess the associations of LCA membership to several youth outcomes. Among all participating youth, three classes emerged with varying levels of youth experiences of quality, including High Program Quality & High Safety and Fairness (82.78%), High/Mixed Program Quality & Low Safety and Fairness class (8.98%) and Low/Mixed Program Quality & High/Mixed Safety and Fairness class (8.24%).Youth who reported experiencing fairness and safety despite poor other program quality components had significantly higher levels of caring relative to youth in the High Program Quality & Low Fairness and Safety class. Results suggest youth may still benefit from participation in programs that they experience as having mixed quality. Fairness and safety may be key components of program quality not currently included in some models.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was funded by the United States Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) through the Children, Youth, and Families at Risk (CYFAR) Grant Program, Award number 2013-41520-21529. NIFA was not involved in the present study design, data collection, analysis or data interpretation.
© 2020 Elsevier Ltd
- At-risk youth
- Program quality
- Youth development programs