The Socio-emotional Climates of Out-of-School Time Programs
Blattner, Meghan CC. “The Socio-emotional Climates of Out-of-School Time Programs”, Boston College, 2018. http://hdl.handle.net/2345/bc-ir:107698.
The differential effects of the achievement gap on lower-income youth persist in this country (National Association of State Boards of Education, 2013). Recognition of the role of Out-of-School Time (OST) factors contributing to achievement differences has been growing (Gordon, Bridglall, & Meroe, 2005). As a result, OST programs have been gaining popularity; however, program efficacy varies. Socio-emotional climate represents one area of quality that likely influences student outcomes. Socio-emotional climate was assessed through a custom observation tool from a larger study. Social competence and resilience was the outcome variable as measured by the DESSA-RRE. Factor analysis empirically profiled the socio-emotional climates of 37 summer learning programs from five school districts across the country, resulting in four “GROW” dimensions of socio-emotional climate: (1) Growth-promoting Instruction, (2) Resolve and Focus, (3) Organization, and (4) Warmth. Given the randomized control design of the larger study, variability among the 37 climates was limited. Thus, hierarchical linear regression examined the influence of climate on students’ outcomes. HLR found that the socio-emotional climate explained a statistically significant (R2=0.12, p<0.001, f2=0.14) amount of variance in students’ social competence and resilience, above and beyond demographics alone ( R2=0.005, p=0.007, f2=0.01). Moderation results were non- significant. Limitations to the study centered on data collection and quantitative methodology. Implications for both counseling psychologists and OST providers were discussed at length, notably supporting programs towards Growth-promoting Instruction.