Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Human Ecology

Major Professor

Jo Lynn Cunningham

Committee Members

Julia A. Malia, Greer L. Fox, Katherine Greenberg


The purpose of this study was to assess the presence of developmental assets of youth participating in two programs that have similar goals but are organized differently. One program was structured around a theoretical and empirical model of youth development (i.e., developmental asset framework) and one program was not organized around this framework. Gender was examined to determine if differences in reports of developmental assets existed across programs in relation to gender.

Data were obtained from 40 youth between the ages of 10 and 14 participating in both programs. A 47-item questionnaire was administered to participants in small groups at program sites. The questionnaire consisted of items that were similar to asset descriptions of the developmental assets framework. A subsample (5 youth from each program) participated in the interviews at each program site. In the interviews, participants were asked to talk about each of the 40 assets in relation to three contexts (i.e., home, school, program).

There were no differences in the number of developmental assets reported by youth across programs on the questionnaire. There was no main effect or interaction effect for gender by program. The result showed that there was no significant difference between gender across program type. Within the context of home, interview participants in both programs reported experiencing 21 or more assets. For the context of program, all interview participants in program type 1 indicated that they experienced 21 or more assets. All participants in program type 2 indicated that they experienced between 0 to 20 assets within the context of program. Within the context of school, 4 of 5 participants reported 21 or greater assets and 1 participant reported experiencing 0 to 10. In program type 2, one participant reported experiencing 11 to 20 assets and 4 reported experiencing between 21 and 30 assets within the context of school.

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