Process Evaluation Examining the Implementation of a Sport-Based Positive Youth Development Program


  • Tarkington J. Newman Department of Social Work, University of New Hampshire
  • Leeann Lower-Hoppe College of Education and Human Ecology, The Ohio State University
  • Dawn Anderson-Butcher College of Social Work, The Ohio State University
  • Lauren M. Paluta Michigan Center for Educational Performance and Information



sport-based positive youth development, youth sport, program staff, implementation


This study examined perceived staff implementation of program elements related to key programmatic design features of a community sport-based positive youth development (PYD) program for socially vulnerable youth. Previous research supports the ability of sport-based PYD programs to promote positive developmental outcomes, such as life skills. However, much remains unclear about the processes and factors that contribute to such outcomes. Specifically, there is a lack of understanding related to the implementation of key programmatic design features. Over the course of a 4-week sport-based PYD program, data were collected from 54 staff members at 60 time points. The degree of implementation related to key programmatic design features, including the program climate, curriculum usage, and quality of instruction were examined. Additionally, perceived implementation was compared across type and setting of sport activity. Analyses revealed that there was no significant difference in reported implementation for program climate, curriculum, and structure related to the type of sport (i.e., contact vs. non-contact sport). However, there was a significant difference in reported implementation of program climate and curriculum across the setting of sport activity (i.e., indoor vs. outdoor facilities). Implications for sport-based PYD program planning and management are discussed.


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