After-School Programs for Adolescents: A Review of Evaluation Research

By Apsler, Robert | Adolescence, Spring 2009 | Go to article overview

After-School Programs for Adolescents: A Review of Evaluation Research


Apsler, Robert, Adolescence


This literature review describes the goals of after-school programs and examines the degree to which programs have achieved those goals. Early enthusiasm for after-school programs led to rapid growth in their numbers but has not been accompanied by research sufficiently rigorous to produce unambiguous conclusions. Although numerous studies have been conducted, few satisfy the criteria necessary to be considered methodologically sound. While this review includes studies of varying quality, the impact of each study's findings is weighted in proportion to the quality of the research.

The Impetus for After-School Programs

Several factors energized the after-school movement. Community pressure for utilizing school buildings following the end of the school day led Congress in 1994 to fund the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (Dynarski et al., 2003). Parents demanded help in caring for their children during the period between the end of school and the time when parents arrived home from work (Kane, 2004). These demands grew as increasing numbers of caregivers entered the workforce, and large numbers of youth were left without adult supervision during the after-school hours. The National Institute on Out-of-School Time (2003) estimated that approximately eight million children between the ages of 5 and 14 were often unsupervised after school in 1999. Estimates from this time period suggest that over two-thirds of school-age children did not have parental supervision after school (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2000; Long & Clark, 1997). The specific type of care requested by many parents reflected growing emphasis on academic performance and accountability, due in part to the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (Dynarski, et al., 2004; Lauer et al., 2004).

Interest in after-school programs increased markedly following reports that juvenile crime peaked between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. on school days (Snyder, & Sickmund, & Poe-Yamagata, 1996; Gottfredson, Gottfredson, & Weisman, 2001). Research documented an association between the presence of parental supervision and lower levels of delinquent behavior, substance use, and high-risk sexual behavior (Biglan et al., 1990; Block, Block, & Keyes, 1988; Cernkovich & Giordano, 1987; Dishion, Patterson, Stoolmiller, & Skinner, 1991). Other research demonstrated an association between lack of adult supervision and an increased likelihood of risk-taking behaviors, victimization, and poor academic performance (Chung, 2000; Dwyer et al., 1990; Newman, Fox, Flynn, & Christeson, 2000; Osofsky, 1999; Posner & Vandell, 1999; Richardson et al., 1989).

Consequently; both private foundation and government funds increased to expand the number of after-school programs. Funding for the 21st Century Community Learning Centers jumped from $40 million in 1998 to roughly $1 billion in 2002 (Dynarski et al., 2004). The rapid growth of after-school programming resulted from lobbying and grass roots efforts and was not based on strong empirical findings (Fagan, 2007; Zief, Lauver, & Maynard, 2004).

Types of After-School Programs

Reviewers of the literature on after-school programs have adopted differing criteria as to what actually constitutes such programs. To date, no consensus exists in the field, and no formal typological scheme grounded in theory has emerged. Investigators have categorized after-school programs by program structure, content areas, and goals. For example, Hofferth, Brayfield, Deich, and Holocomb (1991) grouped after-school programs based on six goals that the programs were trying to achieve: (1) providing adult supervision and safe environments; (2) providing a flexible, relaxed, and homelike environment; (3) providing cultural or enrichment opportunities; (4) improving academic skills; (5) preventing behavior problems; and (6) providing recreational activities. Fashola (1998) surveyed after-school programs and grouped them according to five content-based categories: (1) language arts, (2) study skills, (3) academic programs in other curriculum areas, (4) tutoring for reading, and (5) community-based programs. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

After-School Programs for Adolescents: A Review of Evaluation Research
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.