How The Authors Tested The Hypotheses Research Paper Example
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Intervention is a set of activities and materials that are developed to prevent youth violence and other factors that contribute to it. A program is a group of strategies that have different kinds of interventions that focus on different outcomes. Preventing youth violence is one goal. Before one plans an intervention, it is important that one clearly understands the problem. The description helps identify the affected people and where the problem mostly occurs. Proper preparation helps in developing realistic goals for an intervention program, and it provides a baseline for measuring the intervention progress. The information needed to describe the problem to the intervention participants can be obtained in various ways. Most programs use qualitative or quantitative analysis to obtain that information (Seligman & Steen, 2005).
The Changing live Program used the qualitative and the quantitative analysis. CLP is a school-based counseling intervention that uses a participatory learning and transformative approach creating contexts in which disturbed young people can positively alter their lives by taking responsibility for their lives and their communities. Throughout an intervention program, the participants’ progress is monitored. CLP intervention provides the necessary support for the youth who desire to change their life course trajectories (Kurtines, Montgomery, Arango, & Kortsch, 2004).
At the end of the intervention, a final evaluation is done to determine whether the goals and objectives were achieved. The evaluation is meant to assess whether the program reached out to the intended participants and whether the outcomes were as intended. Evaluation is a very critical step, but most organizations skip it due to lack of the necessary resources. It helps identify where the program went wrong and any necessary changes that can be made to the intervention (United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1998)
Different studies have indicated that interventions promote the positive development of individuals, but there are still gaps about these interventions that currently exist. For example, previous studies focused on measuring quantitative changes like reductions of negative changes but have not looked at qualitative changes. The study’s purpose was directed towards determining whether the intervention changes anything or it is an endeavor that bears no fruit. It has been conducted using two sets of data that are multi-ethnic. The data set has been drawn from Miami Youth Development Project. The findings from this research have indicated the success of the program in promoting positive change. Despite the pattern of positive findings of the impact of interventions, there still exist unanswered questions about the matter.
Changing Lives Program (CLP) prefers to use the term ‘troubled’ to describe the youth population they work with instead of ‘behavior problem’ or ‘normative’ youth. Although these individuals come to the program with several problem behaviors and most of them are at risk of having negative developmental outcomes, the program’s intervention is not meant to target specific behavior problems or positive domains. Unlike other treatment and prevention programs, this program provides selected interventions that target specific behavior problems and protective factors. The program’s main goal is not the reduction of behavior problems or modifying risks. The program is also different from developmental programs such as Boy and Girl Scouts that facilitate the development of a life course that is already proceeding in a positive direction. The CLP youth development program, however, targets troubled youth with the aim of changing their course of life which are leading in the negative direction (Garfat, 2004). The program’s aim is to promote positive change in ways that are individually, developmentally, culturally and historically significant.
For this study, psychosocial developmental life course approach was used. The approach adopts a view of the adolescence as a developmental stage where an individual is confronted with the difficult challenge of choosing their goals, roles, and beliefs. According to this approach, individuals construct their life course by the choices and actions they make depending on the opportunities and constraints in their lives. The program draws its theoretical framework from a pedagogy of dialog instead of instruction.
The essay’s main goal will be answered by the question, does intervention change anything? The essay will also answer the following questions. Does the intervention of troubled youth do more than prevent negative developmental outcomes and treat problem behaviors? What is the theoretical explanation underlying interventions? Are there different types or levels of qualitative change for intervention participants? Is there any association between intervention participation and qualitative change in an individual over time? Can qualitative change be measured? Do gender and ethnicity affect the pattern of qualitative change? What is the pattern of qualitative change in an individual’s life course?
The study program used the adaptation, adoption and refinement of two qualitative performance measures. Both measures were meant to express the meaning and significance of participants’ life course experiences. Life Course Interview (LCI) was administered to individuals. It used open-ended, unstructured full response to measure the performance of self-development. The interview used comprehensive qualitative analysis that focused on the meaning and significance of the participants’ experiences in identifying transformation across the life course.
The Possible Selves Questionnaire- Qualitative Extension was also used to measure the performance of self-development. The method involved administering open-ended brief responses to individuals or groups. The method was intended to conduct qualitative analysis with large samples that focused on the meaning and significance of participants’ possible future selves. The researchers also developed a framework for the use of relational data analysis to evaluate the Changing Lives Program. Relational Data Analysis evolved out of the efforts of developing a framework that is practical and ready-at-hand to moderating the methodological splits. The study’s goal was to use the well-established qualitative and quantitative research procedures and methods unifying the strengths and weaknesses of qualitative and quantitative research traditions (Kurtines et al., 2004).
The Life Course interview was administered twice a year. First time it was administered was at the beginning of the fall semester as a pre-evaluation battery and the second part at the end of the spring semester as an end-of-year evaluation. The data set used in this case contained 32 participants, ten who were control students, and 22 were high school adolescents who were also part of the Changing Lives Program. The audiotaped interviews used yielded 449 codable transcription records (TRs) that made up the Life Course Interview data. RDA was used to analyze the response data from 64 personal identities and 64 undergoing turning point. From that analysis, the conceptual and theoretical coding phases of RDA for the Personal Identity resulted in four meaningful categories. Negative-Identity, Confused-Moratorium, Diffused-Uncertain, Self-Assured identity and other associated subcategories.
According to the findings, there was clear evidence for the parallel and conceptual validity of the Life Course Interview that was analyzed using RDA. The main finding was that the youth in the intervention group appeared to make more positive gains than youth in the control group. The conceptual and theoretical analysis phases of RDA were designed to be conducted by two independent sets of coders that represented two levels of theoretical saturation namely theory-neutral and theory-laden. Theory-laden is a representative of theoretical coders’ consensual understanding of a particular theoretical perspective they exemplify. However, theory-neutral is not a representative of any theoretical perspective. Three theoretical categories were identified for Present Turning Point, in the Changing Lives Program interventions. They include Anticipating Turning point, Not Undergoing Turning point and Undergoing turning point and four subcategories, Negative, Neutral, Mixed and positive turning point.
Interpretation of Findings
Data was collected using a mixed quasi-experimental comparison control design. With the use of that method, it became possible to evaluate the strength of the association of participating in the Changing Lives Program and the qualitative changes in the hypothesized direction of positive development. The comparison was done using variable-oriented quantitative data analytic strategies; Personal Identity and Repeated Measures Multivariate Analysis of Variance were used as dependent variables in the variable-oriented data analysis procedure that was used.
Repeated Measures Multivariate Analysis of Variance was used in the evaluation of the magnitude of the association between participating in the intervention and the qualitative change in identity over time. The evaluation did not include the moderating effects of gender and ethnicity. The results indicated that there was no significant effect of time and condition interaction in the hypothesized direction, and also that there was no interaction between time, gender and time and ethnicity. According to the interpretation of the results, the basic pattern for the participants of Changing Lives Intervention Program was positive, and it was in the hypothesized direction unlike, non-intervention controls.
Repeated Measures Multivariate Analysis of Variance showed an association between time and condition interaction in the hypothesized direction. Participants of the Changing Lives Program intervention indicated that they were undergoing positive life turning point more significantly often than the participants in a control condition. The results were not moderated by gender or ethnicity.
The study’s main question was, does intervention change anything? The answer to that question is yes because the participants of Changing Lives program experienced and manifested change in positive ways. The use of RDA as a data analytic framework made it possible to detect such change. The change can either be short-term variation change also known as a quantitative change or transformational change also known as a qualitative change. It is still not clear whether interventions increase the likelihood of qualitative change in the participants’ life course experiences and the types of intervention strategies that would facilitate qualitative life course change. The Changing Lives Program contributed a lot to changing lives in troubled youth and documents significance of life course experiences of young people.
There is a stigma that comes with labeling children ‘at-risk.’ The term redirects people to thinking that ‘at-risk’ children are ‘problem’ children. Responding to the needs of these children requires people to change their attitude and their assumption that all children can learn. It is challenging to teach such kids, to say the least, and the outcome is significant in the society. When people focus on the problems instead of the individuality of the participants, it becomes difficult to see the different talents and strengths that each person possesses. Studies have shown that these individuals have unique learning styles that are different from most students. Most schools fail these children not due to lack of abilities but neglect by the school. The school fails to offer these children the care and attention, academic or not that they need. Schools should accommodate different people by integrating flexible teaching strategies in the curriculum (Dobzil, 2002).
It is a show of wisdom and hope to dedicate energy and time to the youth today in order to secure a strong, competitive, and cultural future. The present school system is failing the youth with as many as 30% of them, youths, not receiving enough education. The at-risk situation in the society, today is no longer a problem but a national crisis. The society cannot afford not to invest in such intervention programs especially with seventy percent of current inmates being high school dropouts. It would cost taxpayers six times more to house inmates than to invest in other youth intervention programs (Dobizl, 2002).
Different studies have examined the impact of intervention approaches, intervention effectiveness, and future direction. There are different kinds of intervention programs such as shelters, motivational and drop-in centers. Motivational invention is a goal-directed, client-centered counseling style for eliciting behavioral change by helping clients to explore and resolve ambivalence. MI has been applied to a wide range of problem behaviors related to alcohol and substance abuse. Trials indicate that motivational interventions are not effective on the street and other troubled youth. One outcome of motivational interviewing is increasing access and attendance of other treatment services. Motivational approaches have had positive effects on some non-homeless youth including those with substance abuse problems. Troubled youth are known to have difficulty in trusting people including the service providers. Most intervention programs depend on the development of a trusting relationship between the participants and the service providers. Trust is built over time and with more contact that can be offered through brief intervention including the use of motivational interviewing. Some studies have indicated that although motivational interviewing and other kinds of intervention are effective there is a percentage of the troubled youth population that does not benefit from such short-term interventions. That is due to the complexity of their problems (Slesnick, Dashora, Letcher, Erdem, & Serovich, 2009). These particular problems require extended and intensive interventions to get cleared.
Different studies using a variety of samples and different methods of data collection have come up with similar conclusions. The studies show that the experiences of some youth are similar despite their gender, age, ethnicity or geographical location. Most of the youth participants, when asked, described the importance of confidentiality, trust and not being judged. That was probably a consequence of how culture and society affected and effected them as they grew up. There is an association between qualitative change and the participant’s developmental level with respect to their life trajectory. Different people have different visions of how they will be like in the future. It is a subjective view that hinges on several factors considered important by the particular individual. Most young people in this study showed self-satisfying goals that portrayed their future as one of realizing potentials or benefiting others after the intervention. The intervention program also caused positive changes in identity from negative to secure and self-assured. An analysis of the different studies including that done by the Changing Lives Program indicates that intervention result in positive change for participants. However, the change is different depending on the complexity of the problem and the individual’s willingness to change (Catalano, Berglund, Ryan, & Hawkins, 2004).
Intervention research is changing in terms of quantity, quality, and methodological challenges. In order to understand the complete impact of interventions, long-term follow-up is required. Most of the participants in these programs come from unstable living situations. Research on them requires significant time and a creative solution to building trust between the research staff and the participants. In order to successfully follow up with the participants, the researchers also need guidance from a therapist or other related professionals to know how to develop relationships with the participants.
Apart from follow-up, intervention monitoring is also an important part of the process. It lets the organizers evaluate whether the activities are going according to their plan. It also helps identify unanticipated problems and barriers. There are different ways of monitoring interventions. The intervention staff can be used in the evaluations. The staff members can tell whether they feel their training has helped them conduct the interventions and whether the intervention activities are benefiting the participants (Smith et al., 2012).
Conducting an intervention also requires selecting the activities and materials to be used. Before the selection, it is important to know the participants’ needs, cultural issues and any potential barriers. Cultural diversity describes the differences due to race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, and many other factors that differentiate people in the society. Participants of different cultural backgrounds can have different behavioral characteristics including their language and dialect. Different studies have indicated that an intervention results in a positive impact on the participants even though it may differ in different individuals. It is important the proper intervention programs are selected so that the programs’ goals and objectives can get achieved.
Catalano, R., Berglund, M., Ryan, J., & Hawkins, D. (2004). Positive Youth Development in the United States: Research Findings on Evaluations of Positive Youth Development Programs. The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 591(1), 98-124. Retrieved from http://www.boywithaball.com/images/uploads/Positive_Youth_Development_Research_Overview1.pdf
Dobizl, J. K. (2002). Understanding at-risk Youth and Intervention Programs that help them succeed in School. Retrieved from http://www2.uwstout.edu/content/lib/thesis/2002/2002dobizlj.pdf
Garfat, T. (2004). Mean-Making and Intervention in Child and Youth. Scottish Journal of Residential Child Care, 3(1), 9-16. Retrieved from http://www.celcis.org/media/resources/publications/meaning-making-thom-garfat.pdf
Kurtines, W., Montgomery, M., Arango, L., & Kortsch, G. (2004). Does Intervention Change Anything? New Directions in Promoting Positive Youth Development. European Journal of Developmental Psychology, 1(4), 383-397.
Seligman, M., & Steen, T. (2005). Positive Psychology Process: Empirical Validation of Interventions. American Psychologist Association, 60(5), 410-421. Retrieved from http://www.ppc.sas.upenn.edu/ppprogressarticle.pdf
Slesnick, N., Dashora, P., Letcher, A., Erdem, G., & Serovich J. (2009). A Review of Services and Interventions for Runaway and Homeless Youth: Moving forward. Child Youth Service Review, 31(7), 732-742. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2699020/pdf/nihms93511.pdf
Smith, C., Akiva, T., Sugar, S. A., Lo, Y. J., Frank, K. A., Peck, S. C.,Devaney, T. (2012). Continuous quality improvement in afterschool settings: Impact findings from the Youth Program Quality Intervention study. Washington, DC: Forum for Youth Investment. Retrieved from http://cypq.org/sites/cypq.org/files/YPQITech%20_2-29_12.pdf
United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (1998). Planning, Implementing and Evaluating an Intervention-An Overview. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/chapter1-a.pdf
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