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OUT-OF-SCHOOL TIME AS A DEVELOPMENTAL CONTEXT Lessons from Successful (and Unsuccessful Afterschool Programs PowerPoint Presentation
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OUT-OF-SCHOOL TIME AS A DEVELOPMENTAL CONTEXT Lessons from Successful (and Unsuccessful Afterschool Programs Deborah Lowe Vandell SRHD Biennial Conference San Antonio TX March 2010 The Policy Context

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OUT-OF-SCHOOL TIMEAS A DEVELOPMENTAL CONTEXTLessons from Successful (and Unsuccessful Afterschool Programs

Deborah Lowe Vandell

SRHD Biennial Conference

San Antonio TX

March 2010

the policy context
The Policy Context
  • Disconnect between the length of the school day and children’s academic, social, behavioral, and physical needs
  • High rates of maternal employment
    • 74% of the mothers of children 6-17 yrs
  • Concerns about
    • Low test scores
    • Unmet needs of English Language Learners
    • Negative effects of low supervision
    • Youth as victims & perpetrators of crime
    • Childhood obesity
  • Some evidence of beneficial effects of afterschool programs but not always
  • An element in Race to the Top and other school reform efforts
what is an after school program
What is an after-school program?
  • Narrow definition – programs that are offered by schools or other organizations on a daily basis throughout the school year
  • Broad definition – includes extracurricular activities, sports, clubs, and sports offered by schools, libraries, and youth organizations
after school programs sometimes offer
After-School Programs Sometimes Offer

Academic enrichment & remediation

  • Homework help
  • Science, computer & math clubs
  • Book clubs

Non-academic enrichment

  • Organized sports & recreational games
  • Music, drama
  • Arts and crafts
  • Scouts, 4-H, YMCA
public and private investments in programs
Public and Private Investments in Programs
  • After-school programs
    • Serve 7 million+ children
    • 21% of 6 to 9 yr olds & 14% of 10-12 yr olds
    • CA After-School Education and Safety Program
    • 21st Century Community Learning Centers
    • National Network of State Afterschool Networks
  • Participation in at least 1 organized activity in a yr
    • 81% of 6- to 11-yr-olds
    • 83% of 12- to 17-yr-olds
    • 90% of non-poor vs 60% of poor children
effect size
Effect Size
  • a statistic that measures the magnitude of a program’s impact on a particular outcome
  • One common metric – Cohen (1988)
  • “small” - d = .2
  • "medium” - d = .5
  • “large” - d = .8
  • Effect sizes also can be benchmarked against those reported in other studies.
      • Aspirin on heart disease d = .03
      • School-based substance abuse prevention programs on drug & alcohol use d = .09
      • Class size reductions on math achievement d = .23
a recent meta analysis
A RECENT META-ANALYSIS

Durlak, J. A., & Weissberg, R. P. (2007)

49 reports of 73 programs

Meta-analyses of

1. All programs

2. Programs with Sequential & Active activities and Focused & Explicit content (SAFE)

  • .
additional components of program quality nrc eccles gootman 2002
ADDITIONAL COMPONENTS OF PROGRAM QUALITY (NRC, Eccles & Gootman, 2002)
  • Positive relationships between students and staff
  • Positive relationships between students
  • Mix of academic and non-academic skill-building activities
  • High levels of student engagement
  • Mastery orientation
  • Appropriate levels of structure
  • Opportunities for autonomy and choice
study of promising afterschool programs vandell reisner pierce et al 2007
Study of Promising Afterschool Programs(Vandell, Reisner, Pierce et al. 2007)
  • A longitudinal study of almost 3,000 low-income, ethnically diverse elementary and middle school student
  • Eight states: CA, CO, CT, MI, MT, NY, OR, RI
  • 14 communities: rural, small towns, mid-size cities, large cities
  • All located in high-poverty communities
  • First year devoted to identifying & describing promising programs
  • Studied student academic & social outcomes over two years
programs received consistently high ratings on all of the program quality dimensions
Programs received consistently high ratings on all of the program quality dimensions
  • Positive staff-student relationships
  • Positive relationships between students
  • Mix of skill-building activities
  • High levels of student engagement
  • Mastery orientation
  • Appropriate levels of structure
  • Opportunities for autonomy and choice
study participants
Study Participants

Elementary School Sample

1,796 students in Grades 3 & 4 from 19 schools

89% free- or reduced-price school lunch

88% students of color

Middle School Sample

1,118 students in Grades 6 & 7 from 16 schools

63% free- or reduced-price lunch

69% students of color

other afterschool experiences
Other Afterschool Experiences
  • Organized activities such as team sports, school-based activities and lessons
  • Home alone and home with a sibling
  • “Hanging out” with peers without adult supervision
  • Each reported on 4-point scales
    • 1 = not at all/ once or twice
    • 2 = about once a week
    • 3 = 2 – 3 times a week
    • 4 = 4 or more days a week
four clusters were identified
FOUR CLUSTERS WERE IDENTIFIED
  • Programs only (PO)
  • Programs plus other activities (PP)
  • Low supervision with activities
  • Other
participation in promising programs and other activities over 2 years
Participation in Promising Programs and Other Activities Over 2 Years

Elementary Sample

  • 54% regular program participants (about 90 day/yr)

2/3 Program Only; 1/3 Program Plus

  • 15% low supervision

Middle School Sample

  • 49% regular program participants (about 55 days/yr)

2/3 Program Only; 1/3 Program Plus

  • 16% low supervision
analytic plan
Analytic Plan
  • HLM analyses
  • Level 1 - child
  • Level 2 – school/program
  • Difference scores
  • 10 multiple imputations
covariates
Covariates
  • Gender
  • Race-ethnicity
  • Grade level
  • Household income (per $1000)
  • Maternal (or guardian) education (in yrs)
  • Mother (or guardian) works full time
  • Household structure
middle school sample youth report program only vs low supervision significant effect sizes
Middle School Sample: Youth ReportProgram Only vs. Low SupervisionSignificant Effect Sizes
conclusions elementary school sample
Conclusions: Elementary School Sample

Standardized Tests

Gains in math for PO after one year; gains for both PO and PP groups after 2 years

Child Reports

Gains in work habits & reductions in misconduct for both PO & PP groups; larger effects after 2 years

Teacher Reports

Gains in work habits, task persistence, social skills, prosocial behaviors & reductions in aggression for PO after first year; improvements for both PO and PP after 2 years

conclusions middle school sample
Conclusions: Middle School Sample

Standardized Tests

Gains in math achievement for PO & PP groups after 2 years (not 1 year)

Youth Self-Reports

Both PO and PP youth reports reported gains in work habits after 2 years (not 1 year) and larger reductions in misconduct and substance use after two years

Teacher Reports

Little evidence of differences between Program and low supervised youth

study 2 experience sampling out of school time vandell shernoff et al 2007 2009
Study 2: Experience Sampling - Out-of-School TimeVandell, Shernoff, et al. (2007, 2009)
  • 191 8th grade students, primarily low-income students of color
  • 8 middle schools in 3 communities
  • Students wore watches that beeped them at random times during non-school hours – afterschool, evenings, weekends
  • 35 signals during a one week period in the fall and 35 signals during a one week period in the spring
students filled out logbooks
Students Filled Out Logbooks
  • After each signal, students recorded
    • Who they were with
    • Where they were
    • What they were doing
    • How they were feeling
    • And their levels of effort, concentration, motivation
very little missing data
Very Little Missing Data!!
  • On average, students responded to 33 of the 35 signals during the week.
  • 12,143 after-school, evening, and weekend experiences were reported.
  • 5, 136 of the experiences occurred after school.
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Study 3: Are Particular Program Features Associated with Child Developmental Outcomes? (Pierce, Bolt, Vandell, 2010)

3-year longitudinal study of children who attended 30 programs of varying quality

n = 150 in 1st grade

n = 120 in 2nd grade

n = 91 in 3rd grade

49% male

89% white

60% parents have college degrees

observations of program quality
Observations Of Program Quality

4 program observations in 2nd grade and 3 observations in 3rd grade

staff-child relationships

availability of age-appropriate activities

programming flexibility

Analyses control for family background and child prior functioning

child developmental outcomes
Child Developmental Outcomes
  • Teacher ratings
    • Mock Report Card
      • Reading
      • Math
    • Work habits (6 items, 5 pt ratings)
    • Social skills with peers (7 items, 5 pt ratings
    • Collected from classroom teachers in G1, G2, and G3.
analytic strategy
Analytic Strategy

HLM analyses in Grade 2 & Grade 3

Level 1 – child

Level 2 – program

Covariates:

gender, minority (yes/no), maternal education, family income, 2-parent household (yes/no), firm/responsive parenting, prior child functioning ,

five take home messages
Five Take-Home Messages
  • Regular participation in high quality afterschool programs is linked to positive social and academic outcomes
  • Gains are more evident after two years than after one year, suggesting that duration is important
  • Youth reports of experiences reveal differences in activities, social partners, motivation, effort, and affect while attending afterschool programs
  • There is evidence that particular aspects of children’s experiences are related to child developmental outcomes
  • Out of school time IS an important developmental context
http childcare gse uci edu

http://childcare.gse.uci.edu/

for more information