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Afterschool engagement: A mixed methods approach to understanding profiles of youth engagement


Engagement in afterschool programs is a growing area of interest for both researchers and practitioners. Though there is an emerging body of research investigating this construct, we lack an understanding of how specific dimensions of engagement are endorsed in different ways among subgroups of students. Little is known about the sources and barriers of engagement in afterschool contexts. This mixed methods investigation used latent profile analysis and semi-structured student focus groups to explore individual differences in engagement and sources and barriers of engagement for a sample of underrepresented minority students who regularly participate in an afterschool program. Latent profile analyses revealed three engagement profiles: moderately engaged, affectively engaged, and disengaged. Reported sources (e.g., program content, friends) and barriers (e.g., interpersonal tension, repetitive content) differed by profile. The results provide a comprehensive understanding of student engagement in afterschool programs and are relevant to practitioners who desire to promote engagement. (author abstract)

Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

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