Academic Literature

Strategies for Fostering Basic Psychological Needs Support in High Quality Youth Leadership Programs

2017
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Strategies for Fostering Basic Psychological Needs Support in High Quality Youth Leadership Programs

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Youth leadership programming has become an increasingly common context to foster basic psychological needs and promote youth development. The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore strategies involved in fostering youth needs support within six leadership programs. Two leaders and 30 youth participated in semi-structured interviews to better understand the strategies used to foster needs support. Findings revealed that leaders were able to foster a sense of relatedness among youth through building trusting adult-youth relationships and nurturing an inclusive environment. Maximizing choice and negotiating youth voice helped to foster youth’s autonomy. Finally, creating a task-oriented climate and providing intentional opportunities for skill-building helped to foster youth’s competence. Findings suggest that training for leaders is critical in understanding what, and how strategies should be employed to help foster youth needs support in leadership programming. Limitations and future directions are outlined.

Bean, C., Harlow, M., & Kendellen, K. (2017). Strategies for fostering basic psychological needs support in high quality youth leadership programs. Evaluation and Program Planning, 61, 76-85.

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