Examining the Impact of Counselor and Peer Support on Social Skill Development in a Sport-Based Positive Youth Development Program
Keywords:self-control, effort, teamwork, social responsibility
Positive youth development (PYD) programs provide education, resources, and skills for youth and families, while promoting healthy behaviors and relationships (Catalano, Berglund, Ryan, Lonczak & Hawkins, 2004). Given the constructive impact PYD programs can have on individuals, families, and communities, there is a need to develop a deeper understanding about youth participants’ experiences and interactions during programming. The present study investigated changes over time in self-reported levels of self-control, effort, teamwork, and social responsibility (SETS) in a sport-based PYD program. Additionally, the influence of camp counselor and peer support on social skill outcomes was explored. Results demonstrated improvements in SETS among youth from pre- to post-camp. Hierarchical regression analyses found both camp counselor and peer support were significant, positive predictors of the SETS scores at post-test. No interaction effects were found. Although there is still much more to ascertain about participants’ PYD experiences, this study highlighted the importance of support from both camp counselors and peers on the development of social skills among youth.
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