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Cultivating knowledge of resiliency and reintegration among military youth through a national youth leadership program

APA Citation:

Weston, K. L., Garst, B. A., Powers, E. P., & Quinn, W. H. (2021). Cultivating knowledge of resiliency and reintegration among military youth through a national youth leadership program. Evaluation and Program Planning, 86, 101915. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.evalprogplan.2021.101915

Abstract Created by REACH:

The Military Teen Ambassadors (MTA) training program aims to train military teens to help other military teens adjust to the reintegration process and develop leadership skills by targeting the seven Cs of resiliency (i.e., competence, confidence, character, connection, contribution, coping, and control). This study examined the impact of the MTA training on military teens’ knowledge of resiliency and reintegration, awareness of the needs of other military teens in the community, self-perceptions of personal growth and skill development (i.e., leadership skills, public speaking), and civic efficacy (i.e., ability to impact community). Thirty-four military teens participated in the three-day MTA training and completed pretest, posttest, and six-month follow-up questionnaires. At the six-month follow-up, military teens also responded to an open-ended question about how MTA had improved their leadership skills. There was some evidence that military teens’ participation in the MTA may contribute to greater knowledge of resiliency and reintegration, awareness of other teens’ needs in their communities, and self-perceived leadership skills.

Focus:

Programming
Youth

Branch of Service:

Multiple branches

Military Affiliation:

Active Duty

Subject Affiliation:

Child of a service member or veteran

Population:

Adolescence (13 - 17 yrs)
Adulthood (18 yrs & older)

Methodology:

Longitudinal Study
Qualitative Study
Quantitative Study

Authors:

Weston, Kayla L., Garst, Barry A., Bowers, Edmond P., Quinn, William H.

Abstract:

Youth in military families are frequently challenged by the adjustment demands associated with the deployment and reintegration of a parent. A positive youth development approach was undertaken by the Boys and Girls Clubs of America to develop and implement a Military Teen Ambassadors (MTA) training for youth in military families that would facilitate knowledge of resiliency and reintegration and foster leadership skills to build assets for themselves as well as their peers within their local communities. To determine if MTA was functioning as intended and to refine future programming, this preliminary formative study assessed perceived participant learning outcomes associated with MTA on variables pertaining to knowledge acquisition, perceived skill acquisition, and community needs awareness. Data were collected prior to the training, immediately following the training, and 6 months after the training. Repeated measures analysis indicated significant mean increases over time in knowledge and awareness of resiliency and reintegration; perceived leadership skills; and community awareness. Qualitative findings provided triangulation in the aforementioned areas. These findings strengthen the body of knowledge on resiliency by demonstrating that the 7 Cs model may be an effective strategy to incorporate into leadership development programs seeking to build knowledge of resiliency among military youth. Study limitations, lessons learned, and recommendations for further research are delineated.

Publisher/Sponsoring Organization:

Elsevier

Publication Type:

Article
REACH Publication

Author Affiliation:

Institute for Family and Neighborhood Life, Clemson University, KLW
Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management, Clemson University, BAG
Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management, Clemson University, EPB
Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management, Clemson University, WHQ

Keywords:

leadership, military youth, program evaluation, resilience, youth development

View Research Summary:

REACH Publication Type:

Research Summary

Sponsors:

Boys and Girls Clubs of America

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