Positive Youth Development in the United States: Research Findings on Evaluations of Positive Youth Development Programs. F: Decision Rules

11/13/1998

These are the concrete rules we used to determine whether a program developed a particular youth development construct or employed a particular intervention strategy in a particular social domain (thus meeting the operational definition for that construct or strategy).  We also sought to define rules which would specify relationships between multiple constructs, strategies, and combinations of the two.  Note that decisions were not limited to what we have defined below.  For example, a program could offer components which we have not identified in the decision rules for a particular youth development construct yet still be classified as promoting that construct.

Definitional rules for youth development constructs

  • If program seeks to improve academic performance, THEN Cognitive Competence is a PYD construct for that program.
  • If program seeks to strengthen thinking and decision making capabilities, THEN Cognitive Competence is a PYD construct for that program.
  • If program seeks to strengthen relational skills required for interpersonal coping and communication, THEN Social Competence is a PYD construct for that program.
  • If program seeks to foster self-awareness AND/OR impulse control AND/OR persistence AND/OR motivation AND/OR empathy, THEN Emotional Competence is a PYD construct for that program.
  • If a program seeks to strengthen youth skills, THEN Behavioral Competence and Self-Efficacy are PYD constructs for that program.
  • If program seeks to promote empathy OR respect for rules and standards OR a sense of moral justice, THEN Moral Competence is a PYD construct for that program.
  • If a program seeks to increase empowerment OR autonomy, THEN Self-Determination is a PYD construct for that program.
  • If a program offers long-term incentives such as tuition assistance or a guaranteed job, THEN Belief in the Future is a PYD construct for that program.
  • If a program includes cultural competence AND/OR is based upon a theory of human identity development THEN Positive Identity is a PYD construct for that program.
  • If a program seeks to build protective factors into a vulnerable youth's environment, OR seeks to change the proportion of risk to protective factors in that environment, THEN Resiliency is a PYD construct for that program.
  • If a program seeks to promote interpersonal relationships for youth, THEN Bonding is a PYD construct for that program.
  • If a program seeks to strengthen the bond to the conventional social order in school, community, or other group-based social domains, THEN Bonding is a PYD construct for that program.
  • If a program seeks to foster affiliation with cultural norms for spirituality, OR fosters internal reflection, meditation, OR the development of a sense of spiritual meaning or practice, THEN Spirituality is a PYD construct for that program.
  • If a program seeks to offer reinforcement for positive behavior or positive behavior change, THEN Provides Recognition for Positive Behavior is a PYD construct for that program.
  • If a program seeks to offer activities that create a range of opportunities for prosocial involvement, THEN Provides Positive Opportunity Structures in the Environment is a PYD construct for that program.

Definitional rules for intervention strategies

  • IF a program offers skills training promoting positive behavioral AND/OR cognitive changes, THEN Cognitive-Behavioral is an intervention strategy for that program.
  • IF a program uses strategies that target antisocial norms and seeks to replace these with prosocial norms, THEN Shifting Peer Group Norms is an intervention strategy for that program.
  • IF a program uses strategies that seek to influence perceptions in a prosocial direction, THEN Shifting Peer Group Perceptions is an intervention strategy for that program.
  • IF a program uses training or implementation strategies that seek to influence teacher behavior in a new direction, THEN Changing Teacher Practices is an intervention strategy for that program.
  • IF a program uses implementation strategies that seek to influence norms, attitudes or general social environment in a school, THEN Changing School Climate is an intervention strategy for that program.
  • IF a program uses strategies that seek to improve internal commitment to the school environment, promote bonding to school, or improve school performance, THEN Influencing Student Motivation is an intervention strategy for that program.
  • IF a program uses implementation strategies that seek to influence organizational behavior, attitude, or practices in a new direction, THEN Changing Institutional Practices is an intervention strategy for that program.
  • IF a program uses strategies that seek to influence community perceptions of youth and/or the role of youth in the community, THEN Increasing Community Awareness is an intervention strategy for that program.
  • IF a program offers skills training in methods to manage one's stress, impulses, or frustration, THEN Coping Strategies and Self-Management are intervention strategies for that program.
  • IF a program offers skills training in methods to manage one's goals and priorities, THEN Coping Strategies and Self-Management are intervention strategies for that program.
  • IF a program offers skills training in methods to manage one's interpersonal relationships or build social competence, THEN Social Skills is intervention strategy for that program.
  • IF a program offers training of peers who then facilitate conflict resolution among peers involved in disputes, THEN Conflict Resolution is an intervention strategy for that program.
  • IF a program offers training in coping with peer pressure around drug use or other antisocial behavior, while maintaining the peer relationship, THEN Refusal/Resistance is an intervention strategy for that program.
  • IF a program offers cognitive skills training in making choices, problem solving, or coping with goals and priorities, THEN Decision Making is an intervention strategy for that program.
  • IF a program offers a packaged intervention called "Life Skills Training," particularly if it is based upon the work of Botvin, THEN Life Skills is an intervention strategy for that program. (The actual package name should be identified in the components section of the abstract.)

Definitional rules between domains

  • IF a program targets the parent-child unit outside the physical setting of the home, THEN Family Setting Unit is the appropriate domain.
  • IF an intervention component actively targets an activity or parent-child relationship in the physical setting of the home, THEN Family Home Unit is the appropriate domain (and "fam.set.unit" is assumed).

Relationship rules between intervention strategies and youth development constructs

  • IF Refusal/Resistance Skills training is identified as a strategy, THEN Self-efficacy will be one of the PYD constructs.
  • IF a program offers Refusal and Resistance training, THEN Social Competence is a PYD construct for that program.
  • IF a program offers Refusal and Resistance training, THEN Cognitive Competence is a PYD construct for that program.
  • IF Refusal and Resistance Skills training is identified as a strategy, AND the children being served are exposed to multiple risk factors, THEN Resiliency will be one of the PYD constructs.
  • IF Reinforcement (for positive behavior) is identified as a strategy, THEN Recognition (for positive involvement) will be one of the PYD constructs.
  • IF Self-Management is identified as a strategy, THEN Self-Efficacy will be one of the PYD constructs.
  • IF a program seeks to improve Self-Management (skills), THEN Self-Efficacy is a PYD construct for that program.
  • IF a program seeks to improve Self-Management (skills), THEN Cognitive Competence is a PYD construct for that program.
  • IF a program seeks to improve Coping Strategies, THEN Self-Efficacy is a PYD construct for that program.
  • IF a program targets Prevention of Association with Antisocial Peers, THEN Prosocial Norms is a PYD construct for that program.
  • IF a program provides skill development in Conflict Resolution, THEN Prosocial Norms is a PYD construct for that program.
  • IF a program seeks to Shift Peer Group Perceptions, THEN Prosocial Norms is a PYD construct for that program.
  • IF a program promotes Mentoring, THEN Prosocial Norms is a PYD construct for that program.
  • IF a program provides skill development in Conflict Resolution, THEN Emotional Competence is a PYD construct for that program.
  • IF a program promotes a Mentoring component in its intervention, THEN Bonding is a PYD construct for that program.
  • IF a program seeks to improve youth Decision Making and Problem Solving, THEN (1) Cognitive and (2) Behavioral Competence, and (3) Self efficacy are PYD constructs for that program.
  • IF a program fosters Prosocial Norms, THEN (1) Shifting Peer Group Norms and (2) Shifting Peer Group Perceptions are intervention strategies.
  • IF a program Shifts Peer Group Perceptions, THEN (1) Cognitive Competence will be one of the PYD constructs.
  • IF a program seeks to improve Coping Strategies, THEN (1) Cognitive Competence will be one of the PYD constructs.
  • IF a program seeks to improve Social Skills, THEN Social Competence will be one of the PYD constructs.
  • IF a program seeks to promote Conflict Resolution Skills, THEN Social Competence will be one of the PYD constructs.
  • IF a program seeks to promote Refusal/Resistance Skills, THEN Social Competence will be one of the PYD constructs.
  • IF a program seeks to promote Cooperative Learning Skills, THEN Social Competence will be one of the PYD constructs.
  • IF a program seeks to improve Social Skills, THEN Behavioral Competence will be one of the PYD constructs.
  • IF a program uses Cognitive-Behavioral Strategies, THEN Behavioral Competence will be one of the PYD constructs.
  • IF a program seeks to promote Peer Mediation Skills, THEN Behavioral Competence will be one of the PYD constructs.
  • IF a program seeks to promote Conflict Resolution Skills, THEN Behavioral Competence will be one of the PYD constructs.

Relationship rules between constructs

  • IF Social Competence is identified as a PYD construct for a program, THEN Behavioral Competence will also be a PYD construct for that same program.
  • IF Self-Efficacy is identified as a PYD construct for a program, THEN Cognitive Competence and Behavioral Competence will also be PYD constructs for that same program.
  • IF Bonding is identified as a PYD construct for a program, THEN Emotional Competence will also be a PYD construct for that same program.
  • IF Resiliency is identified as a PYD construct for a program, THEN Self-Efficacy will also be a PYD construct for that same program.
  • If a program simultaneously promotes Positive Opportunities, Interpersonal Skills and Recognition for Positive Involvement for youth (i.e., SDM Model), THEN Bonding is a PYD construct for that program.

Relationship rules between intervention strategies

  • IF Mentoring is identified as an intervention strategy, THEN Preventing Associations with Antisocial Peers will also be an intervention strategy for that same program.
  • IF Decision Making is identified as an intervention strategy, THEN Self-Management will also be an intervention strategy for that same program.
  • IF a program offers training on Peer Mediation, THEN Conflict Resolution is an intervention strategy for that program.
  • IF a program offers Refusal/Resistance training, THEN Social Skills is an intervention strategy for that program.