Sample Research Paper On Does Intervention Change Anything? New Directions In Promoting Positive Youth Development
Human beings have different characteristics and personalities. These characteristics determine how people relate to each other, and people may sometimes fail to fit into the society due to their behaviors ‘differences. The youth are among the most affected by negative behaviors. As a result, there are intervention processes that help the youth to change their behaviors. This research outlines the intervention of 32 participants who were intervening for their negative behaviors. It also includes the recorded information in relation to their progress during the intervention period.
The youth have been termed as one of the important stage in human beings life cycle; hence, youth development is a fundamental social aspect in the community that enhances production of better people in the society (Weil & Percy-smith, 2003). This is because it is the stage that a person has the capability of shaping his life through building a positive character. In light of this, Kurtines and colleagues (2004) decided to conduct a study about the effectiveness on positive youth development. Therefore, this paper critically evaluates the article by Kurtines et.al. (2004) provides an insight in relation to youth development.
Intervening youths behavioral aspects is a widely discussed issue that has raised eyebrows among various scholars and researchers. Youth intervention has been termed as one of the most efficient ways of fostering positive development. The intervention is concerned with putting to an end the risk factors associated with the youth such as substance abuse, criminal lives, and engaging in risky sexual behaviors. However, Kurtines asserts that there are probable gaps l in this argument that require more research in order to make a coherent conclusion such as the actual time needed for intervention to be effective. This is the reason Kurtines’ articles asks whether intervention changes anything. In fact, intervention comes at different stages depending on the behavior that is being intervened. There are primary, secondary, and tertiary intervention stages that pose different challenges at each stage (Bemak & Keys, 2000). Therefore, the main purpose of the study is to identify whether intervention plays a role in youth development, and if it does not the study aims at identifying conclusive recommendations. The article also includes a quantitative research to get statistical findings before making any conclusion in order to enhance positive youth development.
Kurtines and others conducted this research with a hypothetical perspective in regards to the outcome. One of the main areas of concern is that intervention does not make much difference in youth development because there are some open gaps left in the literature of intervention. This simply means that there is an already existing literature about youth intervention, but it does not give full image about making youths better and much productive. The article suggests that the already existing intervention programs such as the Boy/Girl scouts or 4H only intervene with the already positive lives of the youths contrary to changing lives and making better people out of the youth. Therefore, the main hypothesis is that the intervention technique employed by Kurtines and the others will aid in changing lives of a selected group of participants. Secondly, the research aims at making meaningful changes to the youths who will participate in the positive development program in their morality aspect, productivity, emotionally, and in the cultural settings (Percy-Smith &Weil, 2003). Kurtines asserts that the study aims at changing the negative direction that is adopted by the youth especially in the modernized world. The main goals of this study involve identifying whether youths can change their lives completely and find a new pathway in their lives. The process involved in making them change is outlined in this area of interest. Most research concentrated on quantitative changes such as reducing the negative behaviors without considering the qualitative changes such as what kind of a person the intervention brings. Kurtines (2004) asserts that the study targets troubled youths in the community altering the course of lives that are proceeding in a negative direction.
Type of research
This study employs both qualitative and quantitative researches methods in order to come up with a conclusive findings and empirical evidence. Qualitative research is important in acquiring the theoretical information regarding the topic in question. For youth development, many scholars have contributed with their theoretical approach in order to delve deeper into this issue. Percy-Smith and Weil (2003), stated that the youths are a pillar of the human cycle in the community and their behavior largely shapes the future of this world. In this study, the Life Course Interview (LCI) and the Possible Selves Questionnaire-Qualitative Extension (PSQ-QE) were used. These methods were incorporated in youth development programs in order to identify the significance of participants’ life course experiences. The theoretical approach identifies that youth’s needs intervention in order to change their lives. This is where the quantitative research comes in to provide measurable figures that will enable the researcher to identify the probable ways of intervening with the youths. Quantitative research also aids in identifying whether the methodology used aids in making changes and whether the changes were effective. It provides variables that are used to control and bring an insight to the researcher.
The research is conducted under the Miami Youth Development Project (YDP) where they have initiated the Changing Lives Programs (CLP). YDP was initiated as a collaborative program entitled to help the youths of Miami adopt new and meaningful ways of life. As a result, the Changing Lives Program blossomed as an effective way of making youths responsible for their lives and the community at large. This program has been in service for over a decade and it has been introduced to all the high schools in Miami. According to Kurtines, CLP serves at least 200 to 250 high school students a year who are willing to make a turn in their lives. During the study, 32 students participated where 22 were high school students who were participating in the CLP program and 10 were control students.
This study employs a methodology that will enable the researcher to make workable findings and recommendations. The Relational Data Analysis (RDA) is a framework developed by the Miami Youth Development Project (YDP) in their Changing Lives Programs (CLP). RDA is a framework that involves in collecting data, analyzing it, and interpreting it. The RDA method was constructed into four categories that included negative identity, diffused or uncertain identity, confused or moratorium, and self-assured identity. The data was obtained from the unstructured interviews and open-ended interviews response data. The RDA employed as a Life Course Interview (LCI) was administered twice in a year once at the beginning of the fall semester and another one at the end of the spring semester. The first LCI was referred to as the pre-evaluation battery and the other one end-of-year evaluation. The life course interview was recorded into a total of 448 audiotapes. These recordings were to be evaluated using the Relational Data Analysis method into the four categories outlined.
Similarly, the Repeated Measures Multivariate Analysis Of Variance (RMANOVA) technique was employed as a data analytical procedure. This method aimed at evaluating the available data by studying the variables and identifying the control behavior of the participants. The resultant information was to be interpreted into three theoretical categories in accordance to the participant’s willingness and ability to change. These categories included not undergoing turning point, anticipating turning point, and undergoing turning point.
The RDA was administered as a Possible Selves Questionnaire- Qualitative Extension (PSQ-QE). The PSQ-QE is a methodological technique that evaluates the progress of participants under the CLP. The PSQ-QE is also administered thrice in one year to get the pre and post evaluation results of the respondents or the participants. When the intervention process starts, it is administered to identify the current situation in their development and at the end of the process to find out the changes (Percy-Smith &Weil, 2003). The RMANOVA in PSQ-QE acts as the dependent variable in the study.
The outcome of the Relational Data Analysis was the study of the Life Course Interview. The LCI is administered twice a year where the interviews yielded 448 codable transcriptions records. The pre-year evaluation identified that of the 32 students interviewed, 100% showed the risk factors. They included class attendance problems, immoral behaviors and substance abuse (Percy-Smith &Weil, 2003). According to the RMANOVA measure, two of them elicited the not undergoing turn point; nineteen were anticipating the turning point while the rest were undergoing turn point. As the intervention progressed, there was significance of ethnicity interaction among various students in different racial backgrounds. This is because the Latino/Hispanic participants started the intervention with the tendency of self-satisfying in gaining from the intervention. It was easy to recognize the participants by their subgroup divisions but this ended as time progressed.
The main purpose of this study was to identify whether intervention change anything in youth development. According to Kurtines and others, the findings were positive that intervention has an impact on young people. The other concern was that qualitative research or the literature about intervention left open gaps that were detrimental and non-conclusive. Kurtines stated that qualitative research provided transformational change that could not be measured whether it was effective or not. On the other hand, the use of measurable variables helped the researcher to monitor the progress of the interventional process. The rationale data analysis provided preliminary data that was interpreted into making the findings. The results were analyzed in the study of human development ideologies where the participant started at a low of 1.43 and completed with an improvement of 0.19. Another finding was that young people responded to the intervention according to their gender and ethnicity (Percy-Smith &Weil, 2003). Female participants were first to reform in terms of gender and the Latino Hispanic in terms of ethnicity. Similarly, they elicited personal characters as most youths had self-satisfying, as self-actualizing future and the willingness to help others. Kurtines concludes by saying that most of the youths who underwent through the intervention process were associated with positive change in life course and wished to turn their lives around. The study asserts that the intervention had a positive outcome on youth development and it could be used on qualitative research.
The article employs both qualitative and quantitative research methods which forms the basis of the findings. Among the thirty two participants, they were volunteered by the teacher s due to their behavioral problems. When the intervention started, they also stayed in ethnical groupings and subdivisions. The RDA results show that there was significant improvement in their behavioral aspects. However, the methodological employed experiences challenges because it does not give statistical findings as cited in their hypothesis. This makes the findings to lack the quantitative information that is straight forward.
With these minor challenges, the research still made meaningful findings because there is evidence of human development in this intervention process. According to Bemak and Keys (2000), development is a process not a goal or an objective. This means that it cannot be achieved at one instance, but it has to continue reoccurring in a person’s life. It leads to change in character, personality, emotions, perception, and the overall purpose in life (Bemak & Keys, 2000). It is quite significant that the participants gained competence, character, connections, confidence and contribution. Competence incorporates the acquired skills that enhance a person to understand and respond positively to the environmental stimuli. Contribution is what an individual does to others to help them make positive marks in their lives. Confidence makes the participant to gain self-assurance that he or she can deal with any challenging situation. The intrinsic mind that controls a person in doing what is wrong or right is his or her character. Lastly, connections are the social relations, how people stay with each other. These five building basis of behavioral changes are significant in the end-of-year evaluation of the participants (Bemak & Keys, 2000) It is quite clear that the intervention was effective especially due to the data collection methods. Therefore, intervention does change youth development as witnessed in Kurtines’ research.
Bemak, F., & Keys, S. (2000). Violent and Aggressive Youth: Intervention and Prevention Strategies for Changing Times. Practical Skills for Counselors. Corwin Press, Inc., 2455 Teller Rd., Thousand Oaks, CA 91320-2218.
Kurtines, W. M., Montgomery, M. J., Lewis Arango, L., & Kortsch, G. A. (2004). Does intervention change anything? New directions in promoting positive youth development. European Journal of Developmental Psychology,1(4), 383-397.
Weil, S., & Percy-Smith, B. (2003). Practice-based research as development: innovation and empowerment in youth intervention initiatives using collaborative action inquiry. . In: Bennett, A., Cieslik, M. and Miles, S., eds. (2003)Researching Youth. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 66-84. ISBN 9781403905734
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