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  1. Youth Programs in 2011 Kristen M. Wilson Extension Horse Specialist


  3. Objectives • Examine how youth have evolved: • Family structure now and then • What technology has done to today’s youth • Behavioral changes • Look at a prospective to developing youth programs

  4. Family Structures of the Past • Divorce was very uncommon, just 50 years ago it was less than 15% of married couples divorced. • Men were considered the “breadwinners”, and women were to run the household and raise the children. Think of the movie Mary Poppins, what role did women have and children have? The setting is 1910. How are children raised? •

  5. Family Structure Today • 67% of children today live with both parents. • Children living in mother-only families is 24%. • Children living in father-only families is 5%. • Living without either parent (with other relatives or with nonrelatives) is 5%. • There are federal reforms to encourage two parent married homes for children. Why do you think the government is worried about single family homes?

  6. What Effect Does Family Structure Have on children? • Economic suffering- With only one parent money is tighter, thus sometimes leading to deprivation of computers, clothes, the ability to go to good schools because of living in poor neighborhoods and so forth. Research showing that children do better at school and exhibit fewer behavioral problems when nonresident fathers or mothers pay child support.

  7. Cost of Raising a Child

  8. What Effect Does Family Structure Have on Children? • Quality of Parenting- quality of parenting is one of the best predictors of children's emotional and social well-being. Many single parents, however, find it difficult to function effectively as parents. Compared with continuously married parents, they are less emotionally supportive of their children, have fewer rules, dispense harsher discipline, are more inconsistent in dispensing discipline, provide less supervision, and engage in more conflict with their children.

  9. What Effect Does Family Structure Have on Children? • Outcomes including poor academic achievement, emotional problems, conduct problems, low self-esteem, and problems forming and maintaining social relationships. Other studies show that depression among custodial mothers, which usually detracts from effective parenting, is related to poor adjustment among offspring.

  10. What Effect Does Family Structure Have on Children? • Exposure to “Stress”- Children living with single parents are exposed to more stressful experiences and circumstances than are children living with continuously married parents. Economic hardship, unskilled parenting, and loss of contact with a parent can be stressful for children.

  11. It’s All About Technology • Forget the paper, pencils, and books… • Internet • Social networkng • Facebook, Myspace, Twitter • Skype • Blogging • Cell phones • Laptops • I-Pads and I-Pods

  12. Cell Phones • 57% of teens view their cell phone as the key to their social life • 6 in 10 youth credit cell phones to improving their lives • 4 out of 5 teens (17 million) carry wireless devices (40% increase since 2004) • Equal time is spent texting as talking on the phone CTIA and Harris Interactive, July 2008

  13. Lots of Food, Little Exercise • “Nintendo Society” • Childhood obesity has more than tripled in the past 30 years. • Obesity among children aged 6 to 11 years increased from 6.5% in 1980 to 19.6% in 2008. • Obesity among adolescents aged 12 to 19 years increased from 5.0% to 18.1%.

  14. Fast Paced Society • Approximately 30% of youth eat some type of fast food item daily • Eating dinner as a family is rare instead of the norm • Always on the go • Overscheduled children resulting in one activity after another

  15. Behavioral Changes • Want information quick • Get bored easily & need a change in experience • ADD & ADHD • Changes in overall: • Responsibility for actions • Respect for themselves and others • Communication skills WHAT ELSE??

  16. What types of programs are parents looking for? • Addresses current issues • Science, obesity, workforce readiness, fitness… • Educational advantage • What can you provide that others cannot? • Cost • Need to get the most for their money spent

  17. A New Perspective About Youth Scientists, practitioners, and educators agree: • Youth are resources to be developed; they are not problems to be managed. • This vision replaces the traditional deficit model of children and adolescents which is a model of disease and prevention. In the deficit view, people see children as broken or as destined to be broken and feel that they need to fix them or prevent these problems from occurring.

  18. However: • Prevention is not promotion • Problem free is not prepared • Prepared is not engaged

  19. The Positive Youth Development Perspective • All children have strengths • All families, school, and communities have assets –or the “nutrients” or “building blocks” of healthy, positive development • Aligning – creating a good fit – between child strengths and ecological assets will promote positive youth development

  20. Attributes of PositiveYouth Development: “THE FIVE Cs” • Competence • Confidence • Connection • Character • Caring Contribution

  21. Positive Youth Development Happens in Context INDIVIDUAL Competence Contribution Confidence Connection PYD COMMUNITY FAMILY Character Reduced Risk behaviors Caring SCHOOL

  22. One Community Asset for the Promotion of Positive Development: Effective Youth Serving Programs

  23. The “Big Three” Features of Effective Youth Development Programs* • Positive, sustained adult-youth relationships • Skill-building activities for youth • Youth participation and leadership in every facet of the program Lerner, R.M. (2004). Liberty: Thriving and civic engagement among America’s youth.

  24. “Time spent in youth programs was the developmental asset that appeared to have the most pervasive positive influence…predicting…thriving outcomes…Good youth programs provide young people with access to caring adults and responsible peers, as well as skill-building activities that can reinforce the values and skills that are associated with doing well in school and maintaining good physical health.” Note: This conclusion comes from a study of about 100,000 diverse youth in grades 6-12 from across the United States. (Scales, Benson, Leffert, and Blyth, Applied Developmental Science, 2000)

  25. Hot Topics • Obesity • Fitness • Mentoring Programs • STEM • Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math WHAT ELSE??

  26. No Child Left Inside Recent initiative to get kids active and outside through hands-on learning experiences You Tube Video:

  27. Other ItemsTo Consider… • Demographics of audience • Ages and Stages • Learning Styles • Types of Instruction used

  28. QUESTIONS?? Kristen M. Wilson 301-596-9478