A Framework of Recreational Program Delivery: Instilling Positive Development in Youth and the Capacity to Facilitate Community Development

Wednesday, 18 July 2018: 17:45
Oral Presentation
Evan WEBB, University of Ottawa, Canada
George KARLIS, University of Ottawa, Canada
Recreational activities can provide an effective setting for positive youth development (PYD). However, youth’s participation does not automatically lead to positive developmental outcomes and a framework for promoting and evaluating PYD through recreation does not yet exist. Also, often ignored within PYD research and programs is the need to instill in youth the willingness and capacity required to contribute to their civil societies and become active members within community development. As a result of this research project a model, following a logic model format, was created that can help guide recreational program design to bring about positive developmental outcomes and a sense of community stewardship in youth participants. This model was constructed using empirical data collected from three successful PYD aimed recreation organizations which also contain community outreach components. A qualitative multiple case study approach was utilized. Youth participants (n = 26) and staff delivering programs (n = 22) in these three organizations were approached for one-on-one interviews and one focus group. Inductive and deductive analyses resulted in key themes categorized into the five-steps of a typical logic model. Contained are a series of process factors including inputs (i.e., contextual factors and external assets) and activities (i.e., direct and indirect strategies) and intended PYD outcomes including outputs (i.e., objective measurable indicators), short-term outcomes (i.e., life skills), and long-term impacts (i.e., the four Cs and community contribution). A framework for designing recreational programs towards the goal of promoting positive developmental outcomes in youth, following a logic model format, is presented. Also, by designing recreational programs, aimed at PYD, after the inputs and activities outlined in this model and looking for the results highlighted in the outputs, outcomes, and impacts, recreational programs can help youth become active and important contributors to their community’s development.