Advertisement

The “Dream Teens” Project: after a Two-Year Participatory Action-Research Program

  • Cátia Branquinho
  • Margarida Gaspar de Matos
Article
  • 10 Downloads

Abstract

This study presents the evaluation of a youth participatory action-research project, developed with Portuguese youth, providing a framework for youth’s ideas to be heard, promoting their social participation and engagement in contexts and political scenarios in the areas of health, well-being and active citizenship. In this study of the Dream Teens project, were included all those adolescents that were present in the First and in Second Dream Teens National Meeting, and therefore could fill the pre and post evaluations (N = 46). In this group, 78.3% were girls, with a mean age of 16.13 (±1.89) from which were attended High School (65.2%). A factorial analysis, including all items from the various instrument used identified five factors: Feelings and competencies for action, Competencies for problem resolution, Interpersonal skills, Humanitarianism and Feelings towards life. Comparisons in the five dimensions at the end of year 1 and at the end of year 2 reveal no significant differences. Contrarily, the Dream Teens’ perceptions at the end of year 1 and 2 revealed positive differences. Individual perceptions of improvement were positive in many areas either in the end of year 1 and in the end of year 2, as well as the reported involvement in civic and voluntary activities and future expectations. In sum, although the great majority of youth involved in the program reported positive outcomes as their personal perception, when comparing the results reported in the pre and post evaluation, no significant differences were revealed. This result calls for reflection, although perceiving themselves as more positively enabled, the positive changes were not strong enough to enable the adolescents to cope better in their life scenarios, or simply they did not change, they just liked the program. The results of the qualitative study using in depth interviews (ongoing) will give more clues about what happened.

Keywords

Active citizenship Health promotion Youth engagement Youths “voice” Youth participatory action-research project Well-being 

Notes

Acknowledgments

To the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation for financial support, the Portuguese Society of Health Psychology, the Faculty of Human Kinetics/University of Lisbon, the Escolhas Program, the IPDJ - Portuguese Institute of Sports and Youth, the Aventura Social team (http://www.aventurasocial.com) and the Dream Teens group (www.dreamteensaventurasocial.blogs.sapo.pt).

Branquinho, C. receives a PhD grant from The University of Lisbon (UL) (Grant Number 800178), and Matos, M. G. a Sabbatical grant from the Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) (SFRH/BSAB/135160/2017).

References

  1. Branquinho, C., Matos, M. G., & Aventura Social Team/Dream Teens. (2016). Dream Teens: Uma geração autónoma e socialmente participativa [Dream Teens: An autonomous and socially participatory generation]. In A. M. Pinto, R. Raimundo (Coord.) Avaliação e Promoção das Competências Socioemocionais em Portugal (1ª ed.) (pp. 421–440). Lisbon: Coisas de Ler.Google Scholar
  2. Branquinho, C., Cruz, J., & Matos, M. G. (2017). Dream Teens – a “voz” dos jovens na discussão de problemas da sua geração [Dream Teens – the youth “voice” in the discussion of problems of their generation]. Saúde e Desenvolvimento Humano, 5(3), 19–25.  https://doi.org/10.18316/sdh.v5i3.3565.
  3. Branquinho, C., Fauvelet, C., Cruz, J., Santos, T., Gaspar, T., & Matos, M. G. (2018). Dream Kids, dar voz às crianças: O futuro já começou, com autonomia e responsabilidade [Dream Kids, give voice to children: The future already started, with autonomy and responsibility]. Revista de Psicologia da Criança e do Adolescente (in press).Google Scholar
  4. Catalano, R. F., Berglund, M. L., Ryan, J. A. M., Lonczak, H. S., & Hawkins, J. D. (2004). Positive youth development in the United States: Research findings on evaluations of positive youth development programs. The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 591(1), 98–124.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0002716203260102.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Checkoway, B. (1998). Involving young people in neighborhood development. Children and Youth Services Review, 5(9/10), 765–795.  https://doi.org/10.1016/S0190-7409(98)00044-9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Damon, W. (2004). What is positive youth development? The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 591(1), 13–24.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0002716203260092.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Durlak, J. A., Taylor, R. D., Kawashima, K., Pachan, M. K., DuPre, E. P., Celio, C. I., et al. (2007). Effects of positive youth development programs on school, family, and community systems. American Journal of Community Psychology, 39, 269–286.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10464-007-9112-5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Flicker, S., Maley, O., Ridgley, A., Biscope, S., Lombardo, C., & Skinner, H. (2008). e-PAR. Action Research, 6(3), 285–303.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1476750307083711.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Frasquilho, D., Ozer, E., Ozer, E., Branquinho, C., Camacho, I., Reis, M., et al. (2016). Adolescents-led participatory project in Portugal in the context of the economic recession. Health Promotion Practice, 19, 1–9.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1524839916660679.Google Scholar
  10. Head, B. (2011). Why not ask them? Mapping and promoting youth participation. Children and Youth Services Review, 33(4), 541–547.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2010.05.015.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Huebner, E. S. (1991). Initial development of the students’ life satisfaction scale. School Psychology International, 12, 231–243.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0143034391123010.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Kia-Keating, M., Dowdy, E., Morgan, M. L., & Noam, G. G. (2011). Protecting and promoting: An integrative conceptual model for healthy development of adolescents. The Journal of Adolescent Health, 48(3), 220–228.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jadohealth.2010.08.006.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Lerner, R. M. (2004). Liberty: Thriving and civic engagement among America’s youth. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  14. Lerner, R. M., Almerigi, J. B., Theokas, C., & Lerner, J. V. (2005). Positive youth development a view of the issues. The Journal of Early Adolescence, 25(1), 10–16.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0272431604273211.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Lerner, R. M., Lerner, J. V., Almerigi, J., Theokas, C., Phelps, S. N., Gesysdottir, S. von Eye, A. (2006). Toward a new vision and vocabulary about adolescence: theoretical, empirical, and applied bases of a ‘positive youth development’ perspective. In: Balter L, Tamis-LeMonda CS, editors. Child Psychology: A handbook of contemporary issues (2 ed.) (pp. 445–469). New York: Psychology Press.Google Scholar
  16. Lerner, R. M., Lerner, J. V., Lewin-Bizan, S., Bowers, E. P., Boyd, M. J., Mueller, M., et al. (2011). Positive youth development: Processes, programs, and Problematics. Journal of Youth Development, 6(3), 41–64.  https://doi.org/10.5195/JYD.2011.174.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Lerner, R. M., Lerner, J. V., Bowers, E., & Geldhof, G. J. (2015). Positive youth development and relational developmental systems. In W. F. Overton & P. C. Molenaar (Eds.), & R. M. Lerner (editor-in-chief). Theory and method. Vol. 1 of the handbook of child psychology and developmental science (pp. 607–651). Hoboken: Wiley.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. London, J. K., Zimmerman, K., & Erbstein, N. (2003). Youth-led research and evaluation: Tools for youth, organizational, and community development. New Directions for Evaluation, 98, 33–45.  https://doi.org/10.1002/ev.83.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Matos, M.G. (Coord.). (2015) Adolescents: safe navigation through unknown waters. Lisbon: Coisas de Ler.Google Scholar
  20. Matos, M. G., & Simões, C. (2016). From positive youth development to Youth’s engagement: The Dream Teens. The International Journal of Emotional Education, 8(1), 4–18.Google Scholar
  21. Matos, M. G., Branquinho, C., Tomé, G., Camacho, C., Reis, M., Frasquilho, D., et al. (2015a). “Dream teens”- Adolescentes autónomos, responsáveis e participantes, enfrentando a recessão em Portugal ["dream teens" - autonomous, responsible and participating adolescents facing the recession in Portugal]. Revista de Psicologia da Criança e do Adolescente, 6(2), 47–58.Google Scholar
  22. Matos, M.G., Simões, C., Camacho, I., Reis, M., & Aventura Social Team (2015b). A Saúde dos Adolescentes em Tempo de Recessão-Dados nacionais do estudo HBSC de 2014 - Relatório do estudo HBSC 2014 [Adolescent Health in Recession Times-National HBSC study data 2014- HBSC 2014 study report]. Lisboa: CMDTla/IHMT/UNL; FMH/Universidade de Lisboa.Google Scholar
  23. Matos, M.G., Santos, T., & Reis, M. (2017). BePositive Project: Positive Youth Development (PYD) in adolescents. Saarbrücken: Lambert.Google Scholar
  24. Muris, P. (2001). A brief questionnaire for measuring self-efficacy in youths. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, 23(3), 145–149.  https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1010961119608.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Ozer, E. J. (2007). Healthy teens project–UC Berkeley. USA: California.Google Scholar
  26. Ozer, E. J. (2017). Youth-led participatory action research: Overview and potential for enhancing adolescent development. Child Development Perspectives, 11, 173–177.  https://doi.org/10.1111/cdep.12228.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Pereira, A., & Patrício, T. (2013). SPSS Guia Prático de Utilização: Análise de Dados para Ciências Sociais e Psicologia [SPSS Practical Guide: Data Analysis for Social Sciences and Psychology]. Lisbon: Edições Sílabo.Google Scholar
  28. Sardiñas, L. M., Padilla, V., Aponte, M., Boscio, A. M., Pedrogo, C. P., Santiago, B., Morales, Á. P., Dávila, P. T., & Cesáreo, M. S. (2017). Identificación de Intervenciones para el Desarrollo Positivo de la Juventud. Revista Puertorriquena de Psicologia, 28(1), 14–32.Google Scholar
  29. Search Institute (2011). Profiles of Student Life: Attitudes and Behaviors. Retrieved from http://www.search-institute.org/sites/default/files/a/A%26B%202-page%20sample%202013.pdf on 20 June, 2014.
  30. Shek, D., Sun, R., & Merrick, J. (2012). Positive youth development constructs: Conceptual review and application. The Scientific World Journal, 2012, 1–3.  https://doi.org/10.1100/2012/152923.Google Scholar
  31. Snyder, F., & Flay, B. R. (2012). Positive youth development. In P. M. Brown, M. W. Corrigan, & A. Higgins-D’Alessandro (Eds.), The handbook of prosocial education (pp. 415–443). New York: Rowman and Littlefield.Google Scholar
  32. Tolan, P. (2016). Positive youth development interventions: Advancing evaluation theory and practice. Applied Developmental Science, 20(3), 147–149.  https://doi.org/10.1080/10888691.2015.1014485.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. World Health Organization (2014). Health and human behavior. McGraw-Hill Inc: USA. retrieved from http://www.mheducation.com/ on 24 August, 2017.
  34. Zaff, J., Boyd, M., Lerner, J. V., & Lerner, R. M. (2010). Active and engaged citizenship: Multi-group and longitudinal factorial analysis of an integrated construct of civic engagement. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 39(7), 736–750.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10964-010-9541-6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018
corrected publication August/2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Human KineticsUniversity of LisbonLisbonPortugal
  2. 2.ISAMB/University of LisbonLisbonPortugal
  3. 3.INSERM/University Paul SabatierToullouseFrance

Personalised recommendations