Critical Considerations in a Capability Focused Approach to Intervention Design and Evaluation – YN Panel Video

Nancy Deutsch

Related posts available under YN Working Conference April 2012

View the video for this discussion looking at methods, broadly and integratively, through a Positive Youth Development lens.

Panelists used four guiding questions:
1. How do we bring in developmental theory as we design evaluations of programs? Specifically, how do we relate Positive Youth Development processes and constructs to expected outcomes. How do we resolve the tension between evaluating competencies— promotion, and measuring problem behavior—prevention?

2. In comprehensive youth development programs that are meant to have multiple benefits, and interrelated processes of effects (e.g., adult mentors, opportunities to be helpful to others, etc). How do we create testable models of effects that allows us to identify what works in programs. Can we evaluate the processes of change for comprehensive programs?

3. How do we and to what extent should we be trying to trace heterogeneous effects on heterogeneous participants in Positive Youth Development programs versus studying program impact on a population as a whole, and the tension between examining individual level processes and outcomes (interaction between youth and setting), versus program level effects?

4. How are the intervention evaluation methods we most depend on limiting us with regards to each of the above issues. What are some promising and urgent areas for methodological development to be better able to evaluate within a Positive Youth Development and Positive Youth Development programming approach? What role can multiple methods play in studying Positive Youth Development programs?

Panelists: Nancy Deutsch (chair), Joseph Allen, Catherine Bradshaw, J. Douglas Coatsworth, John Nesselroade. Patrick Tolan introduces the panel.

YN brought together 23 scholars at the University’s beautiful Morven Farm this spring, to advance further scientific knowledge and to formulate a framework for promoting effective youth development. We gathered to provide a research and action base for scientific study that integrates the understanding of developmental approaches to intervention evaluation through the positive youth development lens.

More information on the conference, “Enhancing the Positive Youth Development Perspective: A Developmental Intervention Science Framework,” held April 2-3, 2012.


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