Do After School Programs Reduce Delinquency?

Do After School Programs Reduce Delinquency? After school programs (ASPs) are popular and receive substantial public funding. Aside from their child-care and supervision value, ASPs often provide youth development and skill-building activities that might reduce delinquent behavior. These possibilities and the observation that arrests for juvenile crime peak between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. on school days have increased interest in the delinquency prevention potential of ASPs. This study examined effects of participation in ASPs conducted in Maryland during the 1999-2000 school year and the mechanism through which such programs may affect delinquent behavior. Results imply that participation reduced delinquent behavior for middle-school but not for elementary-school-aged youths. This reduction was not achieved by decreasing time spent unsupervised or by increasing involvement in constructive activities, but by increasing intentions not to use drugs and positive peer associations. Effects on these outcomes were strongest in programs that incorporated a high emphasis on social skills and character development. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Prevention Science Springer Journals

Do After School Programs Reduce Delinquency?

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Publisher
Kluwer Academic Publishers-Plenum Publishers
Copyright
Copyright © 2004 by Society for Prevention Research
Subject
Medicine & Public Health; Public Health; Health Psychology; Child and School Psychology
ISSN
1389-4986
eISSN
1573-6695
D.O.I.
10.1023/B:PREV.0000045359.41696.02
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

After school programs (ASPs) are popular and receive substantial public funding. Aside from their child-care and supervision value, ASPs often provide youth development and skill-building activities that might reduce delinquent behavior. These possibilities and the observation that arrests for juvenile crime peak between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. on school days have increased interest in the delinquency prevention potential of ASPs. This study examined effects of participation in ASPs conducted in Maryland during the 1999-2000 school year and the mechanism through which such programs may affect delinquent behavior. Results imply that participation reduced delinquent behavior for middle-school but not for elementary-school-aged youths. This reduction was not achieved by decreasing time spent unsupervised or by increasing involvement in constructive activities, but by increasing intentions not to use drugs and positive peer associations. Effects on these outcomes were strongest in programs that incorporated a high emphasis on social skills and character development.

Journal

Prevention ScienceSpringer Journals

Published: Nov 2, 2004

References

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