Journal of Youth Development: Bridging Research and Practice
Guided by empowerment and ecological theories, the
Youth Empowerment Solutions (YES) program facilitates character
development through activities based in cultural differences, team
building, and social change. This pilot study consisted of two focus
groups (n = 13) of middle school youth conducted after their
participation in an abbreviated version of the YES program.
Specifically, the present study examined youth’s cross-cultural
perspectives after participation. The focus groups were transcribed
and coded for emergent themes using Heaton’s (2005)
supplementary data analysis framework. Qualitative analysis
resulted in two emergent themes: 1) enhanced appreciation for
similarities and differences in cultural and ethnic backgrounds, and
2) the role of respect in understanding differences and confronting
stereotypes. Specifically, youth reported that engagement in this
program fostered positive awareness of cultural differences and
respect for inter-ethnic relationships. The findings provide support
for the benefits of the YES program on moral development and
promotion of healthy peer relationships.
Fuentes, Vanessa E.; Goncy, Elizabeth A.; and Sutherland, Kevin S., "Cross-Cultural Perspectives After Participation in the YES Program: A Pilot Study" (2015). Psychology Faculty Publications. 23.
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