Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Hotel Administration

First Committee Member

Cynthia Carruthers

Number of Pages



Currently, thousands of youth-based programs exist to promote education, enhance development and instill a sense of belonging and competence in inner-city/urban youth. After-school programs have been found to develop resilience in adolescents (Morrison, Storino, Robertson, Weissgass, & Dondero, 2000) by providing opportunities for growth, increasing academic achievement (Mahoney, Lord, & Carryl, 2005), providing a safe environment (Kahne, Nagoaka, Brown, O'Brien, Quinn, & Thiede, 2001), creating supportive and significant relationships (Hall, Yohalem, Tolman, & Wilson, 2003), and keeping youth out of harms way. Furthermore, after-school programs have been found to increase academic potential, increase attendance rates in school, and promote academic progress in at-risk youth (Dungan-Seaver, 1999; Miller, 2001). After-school youth programs continue to grow in inner-cities, however, the uncertainty of funding and necessary resources pose a threat to the future vitality and structure of youth programs. This paper will examine the importance of after-school/out-of-school programs in ameliorating the risk behaviors and enhancing the protective factors of youths that are immersed in high-risk environments. Furthermore, the paper will review the new focus on positive youth development and the best practices found in successful after-school programs; The purpose of this study was to investigate the developmental impacts of an after-school program for youth that reside in high-risk environments. This study was conducted using qualitative methodology. Youth participants from two program sites were interviewed about their experiences in their after-school program. Two program coordinators from each site were also interviewed, and observations were conducted at each site. Although there were some differences found between the two program sites, the results indicated that, overall, youth participants gained valuable developmental assets. Five outcomes were strongly expressed by the youth participants and after-school coordinators in this study, which included:(1) Nurturing and enjoyable environment, (2) Positive values and behavior, (3) Improved relationships and social skills. (4) Opportunities to learn and try new things, thus developing the perception of competence, and (5) Positive view of future. Respondents also offered several suggestions and recommendations for future changes and improvements.


Developmental; Environments; Examining; High; Impact; Influence; Programs; Risk; School; Youths

Controlled Subject

Developmental psychology; Behaviorism (Psychology); Recreation

File Format


File Size

2109.44 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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