You Can Quit Me But I’m Not Going to Quit You:” A Focus Group Study of Leaders’ Perceptions of Their Positive Influences on Youth in Boy Scouts of America


  • Rachel M. Hershberg Tufts University
  • Paul A. Chase Tufts University
  • Robey B. Champine Tufts University
  • Lacey J. Hilliard Tufts University
  • Jun Wang Tufts University
  • Richard M. Lerner Tufts University



As part of a longitudinal, mixed-method study with Boy Scouts of America, we conducted five focus groups with a diverse group of 46 program leaders in order to better understand their perceptions of how they influence youth. Drawing from grounded theory analysis methods, we found that leaders believed they promoted positive youth outcomes, including character and self-confidence, through caring youth-leader relationships and facilitating opportunities for youth to participate in and lead skill-building activities and apply skills in different contexts. Leaders differed in the particular outcomes that they emphasized. Implications of these findings for future research and practice are discussed.






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