A goal of many after-school programs is to provide supervision to youths who might potentially engage in delinquent activities during the afternoon hours. By comparing students who remained in a sample of Maryland after-school programs to students who withdrew prior to the end of the school year, this study provides evidence that after-school programs are serving a lower-risk population than intended. Findings indicate that prior to dropping out of the programs, dropouts scored in the more at-risk direction on 11 out of 12 indicators examined in this study and had significantly more peer drug models and days absent from school than students who stayed in the programs. Census data indicate that dropouts came from neighborhoods characterized by higher levels of social disorganization than students who stayed in the programs. Program attendance is also related to several of the risk-factors examined. The results suggest the need for improved communication with parents and further creativity in program planning as a means of retaining high-risk students.
Prevention Science – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 10, 2004
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