What we learned from the insiders: A qualitative evaluation of a community-based positive youth development program in Chinese contexts

Cecilia M.S. Ma, Daniel T.L. Shek, Moon Y.M. Law, Jackie W.L. Law

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


The purposes of the study were to assess whether a community-based program was effective in promoting adolescents' development and explore what factors were associated with the program effects. A total of 406 junior secondary students (Secondary 1-3) from five schools participated in a positive youth development program across three years (2013-2015). Seven focus group interviews were conducted to collect qualitative data from the program implementers, program participants and their parents/caretakers (N = 46). Results showed that the program was effective in promoting adolescents' self-competence, beliefs in the future, problem solving skills and interpersonal relationship. Factors that accounted for these changes included the presence of a positive and supportive atmosphere and the presence of a collaborative and experiential learning environment. This study provides evidence on the positive impact of a positive youth development (PYD) program and helps identify factors that facilitate the implementation of PYD programs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)319-327
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal on Disability and Human Development
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018


  • Chinese secondary school students
  • Community-based youth program
  • Positive youth development
  • Project P.A.T.H.S
  • Youth at-risk

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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