Original Paper

American Journal of Community Psychology

, Volume 45, Issue 3, pp 417-429

First online:

Examining the Potential of Community-Based After-School Programs for Latino Youth

  • Nathaniel R. RiggsAffiliated withUniversity of Southern California Email author 
  • , Amy M. BohnertAffiliated withLoyola University Chicago
  • , Maria D. GuzmanAffiliated withLoyola University Chicago
  • , Denise DavidsonAffiliated withLoyola University Chicago

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Results are presented from two pilot studies examining the potential influence of community-based after-school programs (ASPs) on regionally diverse Latino youth of varying ages. Study 1 examined relations between dimensions of ASP attendance and content, and ethnic identity development, and self-worth in urban Latino adolescents. In this study, higher ratings of the ASP’s emphasis on ethnic socialization were associated with a more developed ethnic identity, while greater intensity of ASP participation and perceptions of ASP quality were associated with higher levels of self-worth. Study 2 examined relations between ASP participation and development of concentration and emotion regulation skills in rural Latino grade-school youth. In this study, youth who regularly attended the ASP demonstrated significantly better concentration and regulation skills than those who did not regularly attend, if they exhibited preexisting concentration and regulation problems. Findings illustrate how ASPs with varying strategies, activities, and assessment tools can be evaluated in the interest of designing future large-scale investigations into ASPs and Latino positive youth development.


After-school programs Latino Positive youth development