Exploring the Relationship Between Quality and Quantity of Social Skills Activities and Risk and Protective Factors

David A. Soule', University of Maryland at College Park
Stephanie A. Weisman, University of Maryland at College Park

ABSTRACT
The main goals of the Maryland After School Community Grant Program are to reduce drug use and delinquency. Theoretically, after-school programs that provide activities aimed at improving social skills and academic performance will impact risk and protective factors related to problem behaviors. Unfortunately, little is known regarding how much programming is necessary to change levels of risk and protective factors related to delinquency and drug use. During the 1999-2000 school year, the evaluation of the Maryland After School Community Grant Program showed that programs that reported above median levels of social skills activities and below median levels of academic achievement activities had more positive effects on targeted risk and protective factors than other programs. These findings must be interpreted with caution because the level of programming is based solely on data submitted by practitioners. This study attempts to verify previous findings on the relationship between implementation and change from pre- to post-test by utilizing structured observational data in addition to process data provided by the after-school programs. Additionally, we will explore the types of social skills programs that most influence change on risk and protective factors from pre- to post-test.

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Updated 05/20/2006