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Evaluation of the Teens & Toddlers (T & T) positive youth development (PYD) and teenage pregnancy prevention programme suggested that the intervention had…
Evaluation of the Teens & Toddlers (T & T) positive youth development (PYD) and teenage pregnancy prevention programme suggested that the intervention had minimal effectiveness partly due to its unclear theory of change. The purpose of this paper is to examine the lived experiences of young women participating in the programme to contribute to a clearer understanding of intervention process and potential mechanisms.
The authors conducted four focus groups (n=20), eight paired or triad interviews (n=12) and 15 interviews with young women participating in an randomized controlled trial of the T & T programme in England, analysing these data using a phenomenological approach.
T & T provided some opportunities to experience the “five Cs” that underpin PYD programme theory: competence, confidence, connection, character and caring. However, the young women did not experience the programme in a way that would consistently develop these characteristics. The lack of opportunities for skill-building and challenge in the activities constrained their ability to build competence and confidence. Some programme facilitators and counsellors were able to achieve connections and caring relationships with the young women, though other adults involved in the programme were sometimes perceived by the participants as overly critical. The character development activities undertaken in the programme addressed attitudes towards sexual risk-taking.
Few studies of the PYD approach examine young people’s perspectives. This research suggests that the young women were not consistently provided with opportunities to achieve youth development within the T & T programmes. In refining the programme, more thought is needed regarding how delivery of particular components may facilitate or impede a PYD experience.
Evidence from the USA/Australia suggests whole‐school interventions designed to increase social inclusion/engagement can reduce substance use. Completeness of…
Evidence from the USA/Australia suggests whole‐school interventions designed to increase social inclusion/engagement can reduce substance use. Completeness of implementation varies but contextual determinants have not been fully explored. Informed by previous interventions, the paper aims to examine these topics in an English pilot of the Healthy School Ethos intervention.
This intervention, like previous interventions, balanced standardization of inputs/process (external facilitator, manual, needs‐survey and staff‐training delivered over one year to enable schools to convene action‐teams) with local flexibility regarding actions to improve social inclusion. Evaluation was via a pilot trial comprising: baseline/follow‐up surveys with year‐7 students in two intervention/comparison schools; semi‐structured interviews with staff, students and facilitators; and observations.
The intervention was delivered as intended with components implemented as in the USA/Australian studies. The external facilitator enabled schools to convene an action‐team involving staff/students. Inputs were feasible and acceptable and enabled similar actions in both schools. Locally determined actions (e.g. peer‐mediators) were generally more feasible/acceptable than pre‐set actions (e.g. modified pastoral care). Implementation was facilitated where it built on aspects of schools' baseline ethos (e.g. a focus on engaging all students, formalized student participation in decisions) and where senior staff led actions. Student awareness of the intervention was high.
Key factors affecting feasibility were: flexibility to allow local innovation, but structure to ensure consistency; intervention aims resonating with at least some aspects of school baseline ethos; and involvement of staff with the capacity to deliver. The intervention should be refined and its health/educational outcomes evaluated.
Hugh Africa returned to South Africa in July 1994 after an absence of 30 years. His deep involvement at all levels of education – from basic to university – covers almost…
Hugh Africa returned to South Africa in July 1994 after an absence of 30 years. His deep involvement at all levels of education – from basic to university – covers almost four decades. After obtaining the B.A. and B.A. (Hons) degrees from the University of Natal, he completed the M.A. degree at the University of Leeds and received his Ph.D. at the University of Toronto. He also holds a Natal Teacher's Diploma.