TESU American Journal of Community Psychology Article Evaluation Open and read uploaded fileBasically you are evaluating three articles. All three articles

TESU American Journal of Community Psychology Article Evaluation Open and read uploaded fileBasically you are evaluating three articles. All
three articles have been provided for you in the uploaded file. These articles
are the only material and sources you will be using to complete this. No plagiarism! Critically evaluate the three journal articles given. As you will notice, each journal article is
current within the last 5 years and related to a topic in community psychology. All three articles
have been provided for you in the uploaded file. These articles are the only material and sources
you will be using to complete this. No plagiarism!
Article 1: Farrell, A. F., Collier, M. M. A., & Furman, M. J. (2019). Supporting Out?of?School
Time Staff in Low Resource Communities: A Professional Development Approach. American
Journal of Community Psychology, 63(3/4), 378–390.
1. Summarize the main points of this article.
2. Discuss the research methods utilized. Including the population studied, the sample, how
the sample was chosen and the results.
3. Evaluate the full study including limitations and any bias.
Article 2: Mayberry, L. S. (2016). The Hidden Work of Exiting Homelessness: Challenges of
Housing Service Use and Strategies of Service Recipients. Journal of Community Psychology, 3,
1. Summarize the main points of this article.
2. Discuss the research methods utilized. Including the population studied, the sample, how
the sample was chosen and the results.
3. Evaluate the full study including limitations and any bias.
Article 3: Miller, G. M., & Tolan, P. H. (2019). The influence of parenting practices and
neighborhood characteristics on the development of childhood aggression. Journal of
Community Psychology, 47(1), 135–146.
1. Summarize the main points of this article.
2. Discuss the research methods utilized. Including the population studied, the sample, how
the sample was chosen and the results.
3. Evaluate the full study including limitations and any bias.
Am J Community Psychol (2019) 63:378–390
DOI 10.1002/ajcp.12330
Supporting Out-of-School Time Staff in Low Resource Communities: A
Professional Development Approach
Anne F. Farrell,1 Melissa A. Collier-Meek,2 and Melanie J. Furman3,4
In low resource communities, afterschool programs provide academic support, enrichment, and safety.
Out-of-school time (OST) programs struggle to meet aims due to low resources, low structure, and limited PD and support.
We varied support (business as usual, performance feedback, coaching) and measured ?delity.
Implementation ?delity was associated with level of staff support and site contextual factors.
Targeted investment in OST staff is critical for supporting youth in low-resource communities.
© 2019 Society for Community Research and Action
Abstract Federally funded out-of-school time (OST)
programs provide academic support, enrichment, and safety
for students and families in low-resource communities.
However, programs struggle to meet these aims, in part
because of the lack of program structure and limited training
and support for staff. This observational case study
documents the training and technical assistance (TA)
delivered to OST frontline staff and program leadership to
implement Positive Behavior in Out-of-School Time (Positive
BOOST), an adaptation of positive behavior interventions
and supports conducted in multiple settings. Findings across
three programs indicate that varied levels of TA (i.e., business
as usual, performance feedback, coaching) are associated
with different levels of staff- and program-level
implementation. Taken together with previous research, these
?ndings suggest that targeted investment in developing the
skills of OST staff and improving program-wide outcomes is
critical for supporting youth in low-resource communities.
Keywords Afterschool programs Out-of-school time
Low resource communities Positive behavior interventions
and supports 21st Century Community Learning Centers


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Anne F. Farrell
Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA
University of Massachusetts – Boston, Boston, MA, USA
University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, MA, USA
Hampden-Wilbraham Regional School District, Wilbraham, MA,
One shot training Coaching Performance feedback
Implementation ?delity Treatment integrity Measure of
active supervision and interaction Benchmarks of quality
Schoolwide evaluation tool

Since the 1990s, 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) grants have supported local school and
community providers of afterschool and summer learning
programs. Originally developed through the Elementary
and Secondary Education Act and expanded through No
Child Left Behind and subsequently Every Student Succeeds Act, 21st CCLC provides students in high-need,
high-poverty communities the opportunity to participate in
afterschool programming [U.S. Department of Education,
2016]. Afterschool programs (also known as out-of-school
time, or OST) serve a critical function for low-resource
families and communities by providing a safe learning
environment across school, home, and community settings
(Gottredson, Cross, Wilson, Rorie, & Connell, 2010). Programs have evolved from safe havens for “latchkey kids”
(who might otherwise be unsupervised during afterschool
hours in which high-risk behaviors are likely) to enrichment programs designed to promote well-being (National
Governors Association, 2009). These federal investments,
formula grants to states which amount collectively to over
one billion dollars annually, are intended to provide quality supplemental activities with measurable impact (U.S.
Department of Education, 2016).
Am J Community Psychol (2019) 63:378–390
Over 1.6 million children attend federally funded OST
programs and eligible provider applicants serve schools
where at least 60% of students are eligible to receive free
or reduced price lunch (Afterschool Alliance, 2018). Programs vary in structure, objectives, and activities, and
require attention to academic, enrichment, community service, and behavioral–social competencies (Durlak &
Weissberg, 2007; National Governors Association, 2009).
Publicly funded OST programs exist in part to help close
the achievement gap between af?uent youth and their
counterparts from low income communities; that is, they
are part of a “broader vision of extended education” that
seeks to “support positive youth development and to
reduce achievement gaps associated with income and
race” (Vandell, Simzar, O’Cadiz, & Hall, 2016, p. 52).
According to the U.S. Department of Education (2016),
over two-thirds of the 21st CCLC participants are eligible
for free or reduced price lunch and come from racial/ethnic/linguistic minority groups. Additionally, ten percent of
participants have special needs. Frontline staff are typically young (18–25) and ethnically diverse, with approximately 27% of staff being volunteers. Among paid staff,
43% are certi?ed teachers, 17% are HS/college students,
parents or community members, and 25% are nonteaching
school staff (U.S. Department of Education, 2016). Many
are new to the ?eld, see OST work as a career path, and
yet have little formal training in principles of education,
positive youth development, and behavior management
(Vandell et al., 2016).
The effectiveness of any intervention is bounded or
synergized by staff capacity (Larson, Walker, Rusk, &
Diaz, 2015; Vandell et al., 2016). In OST, the extent and
ability to accomplish aims is limited by: low “dosage” of
intervention compared with the school day; mismatch
between youth characteristics and program resources,
including staff preparation; and, the reality that OST is
relatively unstructured (Grossman, Campbell, & Raley,
2007; Palmer, Anderson, & Sabatelli, 2009). Like other
unstructured environments, OST programs may experience
relatively high levels of misbehavior (Newcomer, Colvin,
& Lewis, 2009). Unfortunately, many OST staff lack
preparation to manage these challenges positively (Palmer
et al., 2009). Low pay, low morale, and high turnover all
present as challenges. For OST to achieve their positive
youth development aims, investments in staff training and
support are critical (Farrell & Collier-Meek, 2014; Vandell
et al., 2016). Additionally, as we discuss below, the relational culture of the learning environment is likely a critical variable in the success of these programs, even if it
has not been systematically examined as such.
Clearly, a general consideration regarding the effectiveness of all learning environments is quality. That is, programs can be considered to have both structural (curricula,
physical environment, learning and recreation materials)
and interactional/relational components (i.e., expected
behaviors and interactions of individuals by role, e.g., participants, teachers, learners, community partners) during
enactment (Century, Rudnick, & Freeman, 2008). A given
constellation of activities intended to bene?t cognitive and
noncognitive aspects of student functioning may have a
basis in research evidence, however, the extent to which it
is both implemented with ?delity and within a positive and
af?rming relational context may be determinative of
impact. That is, both the ?delity of implementation and the
contextual elements around it can in?uence impact, particularly for programs in which program effectiveness is contingent upon faithful implementation (Domitrovich et al.,
2008). The existing research on OST outcomes for students
is mixed (e.g., Herrera, Grossman, & Linden, 2013; JamesBurdumy, Dynarski, & Deke, 2007; Vandell, Reisner, &
Pierce, 2007); whereas the literature is replete with discussion of the need for staff support, effective elements and
approaches are yet to be validated.
Larson and Ngo (2017) suggest speci?c considerations
for youth programs serving low-income, predominantly
minority youth, including experiences of trauma that may
be accompanied by chronic uncertainty about physical
safety, history of interaction with authorities (i.e., teachers,
police) who treat them in hostile or demeaning ways, and
observational experiences suggesting that society is rigged
against them (Cohen & Steele, 2002; Yeager et al., 2014).
However, the evaluation of publicly funded programs has
become increasingly linked to a nearly singular focus on
particular dependent variables and outcomes, understanding
effectiveness is more complex (Century et al., 2008). Without understanding implementation ?delity and the extent to
which the relational components are attuned to the context,
one is at a loss to explain ?ndings that are either disappointing or encouraging (Sanetti & Collier-Meek, 2019). In
short, it is possible to implement the structural elements of
a program with ?delity and not effectively reach participants because relational elements are lacking. For initiatives
offered in low resource communities, the relational elements of implementation are especially critical; that is,
structural elements (curriculum, activities such as recreation, homework time, and support for social–emotional
growth) are likely to be effective only if they occur within a
climate in which staff are positive, af?rming, and instructional (rather than punitive and directive).
In this article, we describe the implementation of a
behaviorally focused curriculum intended to support staff
and improve the climate in 21st CCLC programs in a
northeastern state. In response to concerns about quality,
the state agency responsible for OST approached the
authors and requested a plan to improve the culture and
climate of publicly funded OST programs and conduct
developmental evaluation of the effort. Accordingly, we
developed a curriculum that intertwined principles of positive behavior interventions and supports (PBIS; Sugai &
Horner, 2006) with existing program models. Implemented in over 25,000 schools, PBIS is a systems framework for developing and reinforcing positive behaviors
demonstrated to increase academic engagement and
decrease discipline infractions (Bradshaw, Mitchell, &
Leaf, 2010). PBIS increases compliance and reduces rates
of problem behavior in classrooms, hallways, and schools
(Bradshaw, Koth, Thornton, & Leaf, 2009; Leedy, Bates,
& Safran, 2004). Fundamentally, PBIS involves a change
in staff behavior to adjust the system climate and student
behavior. PBIS includes several facets of professional
development (PD) that are associated with effectiveness
(Patton, Parker, & Tannehill, 2015), including staff
change accomplished through universal PD (on behavior
support) and ongoing performance monitoring, support,
and outcomes measurement (Sugai & Horner, 2006).
Adults establish three to ?ve behavior expectations, de?ne
them across settings and activities, and explicitly teach
them (Simonsen, Fairbank, Briesch, Myers, & Sugai,
2008), providing high levels of speci?c praise and low
rates of correction (e.g., Sutherland, Wehby, & Copeland,
2000), which are associated with on-task behavior (Partin,
Robertson, Maggin, Oliver, & Wehby, 2010; Sutherland
et al., 2000).
Despite its clear applicability to the OST context and
related programs serving “at risk” communities, and the
evidence that PBIS affects school climate (Bradshaw et al.,
2009), research has not yet evaluated how implementation
of PBIS can impact youth outcomes (Farrell & CollierMeek, 2014). This work has important policy implications
given the demonstrated effectiveness of PBIS, the public
commitment to OST, and their potential role in supporting
staff and youth in low resource communities.
We constructed a curriculum centered on supporting
staff to engage and interact constructively with individual
students and focused as well in ensuring a clear set of
positively framed expectations at the program level. The
curriculum, Positive Behavior in Out-of-School Time
(Positive BOOST; Farrell & Collier-Meek, 2014), is a
staff development program that embeds main components
of PBIS (Sugai & Horner, 2006). The program logic is
based on an assumption that effective staff training,
instruction, support, and feedback promote positive staff:
student engagement, which in turn has a signi?cant potential to produce positive impact on student behavior and
program climate, with presumed bene?ts to staff and student retention that may return other advantages (e.g., cost,
quality, reinvestment in staff support). Following several
small pilots and the development and validation of ?delity
measures (see Collier-Meek, Johnson, & Farrell, 2018),
Am J Community Psychol (2019) 63:378–390
we conducted a demonstration project across several programs. For this paper, we selected a subset of three that
were aptly representative of the clusters and illustrate that
degree of implementation was functionally (if not experimentally) related to the level of support provided. These
sites also illustrate the processes of program/implementation support, the delivery of performance feedback and
coaching, and its relation to both ecological in?uences
and observed measures of implementation. As such, this
paper presents a case study of three programs that selected
technical assistance different quantity and type. These
three programs were selected because they most closely
represented the median scores across each level of implementation.
Speci?cally, to evaluate the implementation of the
Positive BOOST initiative, including training and technical assistance (TA), we conducted an observational study.
We examined the extent to which three different levels
of support were associated with reliable implementation
of the Positive BOOST curriculum by OST staff at the
individual staff and program levels. Consistent with the
program logic, we ?rst examined whether staff support
would be associated with behavior change at the staff
level. Rather than the all-too-common “train and hope”
approach (e.g., single session training without follow up
support or coaching, which is associated with little
change; Guskey, 2003; Joyce & Showers, 2002), we provided extensive training at all staff levels (from director
to front line staff) and programs. We then provided
extensive TA to two cohorts of programs to support setting up Positive BOOST at their sites. One cohort of programs received Positive BOOST PD without extensive
Figure 1 depicts the theory of action we posited to
operate subsequent to the staff PD and initial program
support provided. We reasoned that, without the capacity
to intervene positively to change staff behavior, the ability
to impact student outcomes would be eclipsed or negligible (Sanetti & Collier-Meek, 2019) and hypothesized that
providing intensive TA (in the form of training, performance feedback, and/or coaching) to individual OST staff
would support their enactment of a positive, supportive,
engaged, and instructional stance. Further, we wished to
provide constructive, durable support to a diverse group
of staff for whom OST may be a career path. We envisioned the positive staff stance as necessary but likely
insuf?cient to produce change at the program level and
thus provided TA to program leadership regarding the
overall implementation of Positive BOOST as well.
To evaluate this TA, we invited sites to self select into
varied levels of support (described further below) organized into three clusters. The ?rst cluster received only
periodic assessment (i.e., ?delity evaluation and written
Am J Community Psychol (2019) 63:378–390
Staff Behavior:
1. High levels of
2. Set the stage: structure,
expectations, consistency
3. Teach expectations
4. Proactive: engaged,
prompting desired
behaviors, precorrecting
Student Responses:
1. Safety, predictability,
2. Confidence, efficacy
3. New behaviors: selfregulation, pro-social
4. Experience support
Student Outcomes:
1. Increased engagement
and accomplishment
2. Adherence to routines
3. Enhanced social and
academic competencies
4. Generalization of skills
and problem solving
Fig. 1 Positive BOOST theory of change
feedback). The second (performance feedback) and third
(coaching) clusters received ongoing TA support at the
individual staff and program levels.
We viewed the individual and staff level effects as both
related and distinct. That is, although one might see discernible change in staff behavior due to individual TA,
effective implementation of PBIS also requires program
level investments (e.g., development and instruction on 3–
5 universal, positively framed behavior expectations) that
both support individual staff and re?ect a distinct dimension of implementation. A recent meta-analysis (Solomon,
Klein, & Politylo, 2012) and systematic review (Fallon,
Collier-Meek, Maggin, Sanetti, & Johnson, 2015) provide
support for the effectiveness of performance feedback and
its quali?cation as an evidence-based practice. We de?ned
performance feedback as “monitoring a behavior that is
the focus of concern and providing feedback to the individual regarding that behavior” (Noell et al., 2005, p. 88).
Coaching embeds the use of training and performance
feedback and engages as well a collaborative process of
planning and support (Joyce & Showers, 2002).
In sum, we designed an observational study to test
whether intensity of staff support is related to implementation at the staff and program levels in OST programs. Our
view of the effort was embedded in a theory of change
that rested on the ability to affect staff behavior (Fig. 1);
as such, we examined how three distinct levels of staff
support (i.e., periodic appraisal, performance feedback,
coaching) were associated with the behavior of individual
staff members and program-level implementation of the
Positive BOOST curriculum. We hypothesized that more
intensive staff support would be associated with higher
levels of implementation at the individual staff and program levels.
This project occurred with 21st CCLC OST programs in …
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