Participation in high-quality out-of-school activities can benefit adolescent development. Yet, while Latino youth represent one of the fastest growing segments of the population, they are the least likely to participate in these activities. Research on youth programs has highlighted the importance of program quality as well as input from and interaction with families. In this mixed-methods study, Simpkins and her colleagues will focus on the role of culture. They will use data about Latino families and the activities that Latino youth participate in. The investigators will explore the roles of immigration, ethnicity, and economic resources as key factors in families’ decision-making about youth programs. Furthermore, they will explore the alignment of the family’s culture with the culture and ethnicity of the program. Their first data set is derived from a quantitative measurement study of an in-school survey with 299 seventh graders, their mothers, and an activity leader. The second data set consists of mixed-methods case studies with a subset of 34 families. Activity settings were assessed by their program quality, cultural content, and ethnic/cultural sensitivity. The data sets include information about youth’s participation, experiences, beliefs about organized activities.
In this mixed-methods study, Simpkins and her colleagues will focus on the role of culture. They will use data about Latino families and the activities that Latino youth participate in.