Abstract

Little is known about the social capital of adults in after-school settings or the ways in which they use social contacts to support youth success, particularly for at-risk youth. Their effectiveness as brokers for learning opportunities may depend on aspects of their social capital: both the quantity and quality of their social networks as well as their attitudes and beliefs related to seeking help from social contacts. This mixed-methods study surveyed 50 after-school program staff serving teens in high-poverty neighborhoods to examine the characteristics of adult social capital and to explore attitudes towards mobilizing social resources to support youth. Surveys measured social network size (total contacts), network social status (average prestige of known occupations), and network orientations, as well as social resource mobilization (brokering). The results of an initial logistic regression found that only total known contacts was a significant predictor of resource mobilization. Six participants were identified for follow-up interviews. Exposing youth to novel experiences emerged as a critical theme related to youth interest development and adult brokering action. Interviews also indicated that structural elements of youth programs might influence the need for staff to draw on personal connections, suggesting possible targets for intervention. This study provides novel insight into the characteristics of the social networks held by adults working in after-school programs, as well as into the attitudes and beliefs held by these individuals towards brokering learning opportunities for youth.

Notes

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Graduation Date

2019

Semester

Summer

Advisor

Gill, Michele

Degree

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

College

College of Community Innovation and Education

Department

Learning Sciences and Educational Research

Degree Program

Curriculum and Instruction

Format

application/pdf

Identifier

CFE0007707

URL

http://purl.fcla.edu/fcla/etd/CFE0007707

Language

English

Release Date

August 2019

Length of Campus-only Access

None

Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)

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