Original Paper

American Journal of Community Psychology

, Volume 45, Issue 3, pp 358-369

First online:

Quality at the Point of Service: Profiles of Practice in After-School Settings

  • Charles SmithAffiliated withWeikart Center for Youth Program Quality Email author 
  • , Stephen C. PeckAffiliated withUniversity of Michigan
  • , Anne-Sophie DenaultAffiliated withUniversity of Michigan
  • , Juliane BlazevskiAffiliated withWeikart Center for Youth Program Quality
  • , Tom AkivaAffiliated withUniversity of Michigan

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A unique observational data set was used to explore quality at the point of service in after-school programs. Staff practices in after-school settings were represented on a series of unidimensional scales closely indexed to staff behavior. In order to account for heterogeneity of staff performances, pattern-centered methods were used to construct profiles of common staff practices. Results revealed six pedagogy profiles that were classified in terms of three broad types of performances delivered by after-school staff: (1) positive youth development, (2) staff-centered, and (3) low-quality. Staff membership in these profiles was not related to youth-staff ratio. However, results revealed significant differences between the profiles on the content of the offering and the age of youth in the setting.


After school Youth development Cluster analysis Quality Quality assessment