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Title: Measuring impacts of youth empowerment : an international systematic review and a randomized controlled trial with out-of-school youth in Jordan
Author: Morton, Matthew
ISNI:       0000 0003 6670 891X
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2012
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Youth empowerment programs (YEPs)-programs that build on young people's strengths and engage them in decision-making-have gained global attention as a strategy to improve a range of emotional, social, and behavioral outcomes. Guided by the MRC Framework for Complex Interventions, this dissertation employed a mixed-methods approach to synthesize and contribute to the evidence base on impacts of YEPs on adolescent development. This dissertation includes a systematic review of the effects of YEPs on self-efficacy and self-esteem and a randomized controlled trial (RCT) of a YEP in Jordan. Implementation and process research was also integrated to better understand impact study results and investigate issues for the dissemination of youth empowerment methodology. In the review, three studies were included from 8,789 citations. The limited data meta-analyzed did not show an effect on self-efficacy (95% CI = -0.42 to 1.86; z = 1.23). None of the three studies independently showed significant intervention effects on the primary outcomes. Secondary outcomes showed mixed results. The RCT assessed the effects of an empowerment-based non-formal education program for out-of-school Arab youth. The study included 127 participants, mean age of 15.9 (SD = 1.62), and data were collected at baseline and 4-month follow-up. No significant intervention effects were observed for developmental assets (e.g., self-efficacy or social skills). Analysis did show a positive intervention effect on SDQ conduct problems (95% CI = 0.13 to 1.48; d = .57); effects were mostly attributable to changes in the younger (13-15) age group. Subgroup analysis with implementation study data indicated that a higher level of program empowerment appeared related to better outcomes. Differences in implementation and attendance across program sites may have diluted intervention effects; relationships between these variables and outcomes should be investigated in future studies with appropriate statistical power and research design. Implications for research and practice are discussed.
Supervisor: Montgomery, Paul Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Children and youth ; Developmental psychology ; Evaluation of social policies, programmes and practice ; Middle East ; Experimental psychology