Finding their voice: youth's perspectives on their participation at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada

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Haberlin, Matthew
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Education, 2014
This study examines the specific elements of youth’s experiences at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada (BGC) that contribute to the development of their social and emotional competencies. Social and emotional competencies include managing one’s emotions, developing concern for others, and making responsible, ethically informed decisions. Semistructured interviews were conducted with 10 respondents ranging in age from 16 to 18 years old. This study gave adolescents a voice, empowering them to contribute to a deeper understanding of the ways in which community youth programs can assist in positive youth development. Data analysis revealed three categories of themes: social setting at the BGC, interpersonal connections, and personal development. The CASEL model of social and emotional learning (SEL) was used as a conceptual framework, and evidence from the research themes was used to demonstrate how SEL skills may have been fostered at the BGC. The four elements of the BGC that were mentioned by respondents most frequently in relation to the development of SEL competencies were receiving and offering social support, acquiring successful coping skills, engaging in formal leadership opportunities, and developing conflict prevention and resolution strategies. The results of this study have implications for theory and practice. The information presented in this study can guide onsite workers to focus on specific aspects in their interactions with youth and inform future youth program planning.
x, 278 leaves ; 29 cm
Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada , Boys -- Societies and clubs -- Canada , Girls -- Societies and clubs -- Canada , Children -- Social aspects -- Canada , Youth -- Social aspects -- Canada , Youth development -- Canada , Youth -- Services for -- Canada , Dissertations, Academic