Qualitative evaluation of a positive youth development program for low-achieving students: Findings based on focus groups

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


This paper presents a qualitative evaluation study using focus group methodology to examine the subjective experience and perceived benefits of low-achieving secondary school students who joined the Tier 2 Program of the Project P.A.T.H.S. in Hong Kong. A total of 67 students from eight focus groups participated in the study. Results showed that the students perceived the Tier 2 Program positively as shown by the descriptors they used to describe the Program and the related experience. The students also became more resilient and confident after joining the Program, and many of them showed improvement in teamwork and cooperation with their classmates. The Program enhanced students' relationships with peers, teachers and family members, and they became passionate and motivated to serve the deprived community, especially the elderly. Finally, the students learned to use some constructive ways to resolve conflicts and showed more respect for others. The present study provides evidence on the effectiveness of the positive youth development program in nurturing the holistic development of Chinese adolescents with greater psychosocial needs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)391-402
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal on Disability and Human Development
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018


  • Adolescents
  • Focus group
  • Low-achieving students
  • Positive youth development program
  • Qualitative evaluation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Sensory Systems
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Advanced and Specialised Nursing
  • Speech and Hearing

Cite this