DEVELOPMENT AND VALIDATION OF A SURVEY INSTRUMENT TO MEASURE FORMER MEMBER PERCEPTIONS OF YOUTH DEVELOPMENT ORGANIZATIONS

2020-07-30T04:50:48Z (GMT) by Alee L Gunderson
The purpose of this research was to develop and validate an instrument designed to assess programming of youth development organizations. The instrument can be used by leaders of youth development organizations to monitor the organization’s performance in developing productive and engaged citizens. This research viewed youth development organizations as a microsystem that youth interact with (Bronfenbrenner & Morris, 2006). A complete review of the literature on youth development organizations was conducted to determine the components of positive youth development organizations. The resulting conceptual framework consisted of project, skills and knowledge, community contribution, high-density experiences, environment, non-parental adult, and near-peer role models.

An item pool was developed based on the literature available on youth development organization programming. This item pool was reviewed by experts in youth development organization programming and inclusion. Then the items were entered into two tools to assess grammar and concise language. Third, the items were administered to a small sample then analyzed for correlations and contributions to reliability. Items were eliminated if they correlated too highly with other items and if they did not contribute to the reliability of the scale. Fourth, the items were administered to a broader sample and correlations and reliability measures were analyzed again with more items removed. Finally, the items were administered to another sample and analyzed for multicollinearity and reliability. The final sample took the survey a second time and responses were compared based on paired t-tests to establish test-retest reliability.

The 15-item instrument exhibits appropriate measures of validity and reliability to recommend its usage by youth development organization leaders to evaluation programming. The instrument is parsimonious so leaders can add program-specific questions while avoiding participant fatigue. A complete version of the instrument is available in the appendices.