The possible selves method in evaluating youth development interventions: The use of Integrated Qualitative /Quantitative Data Analytic Strategies (IQ -DAS)

Gabrielle Annemarie Kortsch, Florida International University


This study investigated the feasibility of using qualitative methods to provide empirical documentation of the long-term qualitative change in the life course trajectories of “at risk” youth in a school based positive youth development program (the Changing Lives Program—CLP). This work draws from life course theory for a developmental framework and from recent advances in the use of qualitative methods in general and a grounded theory approach in particular. Grounded theory provided a methodological framework for conceptualizing the use of qualitative methods for assessing qualitative life change. The study investigated the feasibility of using the Possible Selves Questionnaire-Qualitative Extension (PSQ-QE) for evaluating the impact of the program on qualitative change in participants' life trajectory relative to a non-intervention control group. Integrated Qualitative/Quantitative Data Analytic Strategies (IQ-DAS) that we have been developing a part of our program of research provided the data analytic framework for the study. Change was evaluated in 85 at risk high school students in CLP high school counseling groups over three assessment periods (pre, post, and follow-up), and a non-intervention control group of 23 students over two assessment periods (pre and post). Intervention gains and maintenance and the extent to which these patterns of change were moderated by gender and ethnicity were evaluated using a mixed design Repeated Measures Multivariate Analysis of Variance (RMANOVA) in which Time (pre, post) was the within (repeated) factor and Condition, Gender, and Ethnicity the between group factors. The trends for the direction of qualitative change were positive from pre to post and maintained at the year-end follow-up. More important, the 3-way interaction for Time x Gender x Ethnicity was significant, Roy's Θ =. 205, F(2, 37) = 3.80, p <.032, indicating that the overall pattern of positive change was significantly moderated by gender and ethnicity. Thus, the findings also provided preliminary evidence for a positive impact of the youth development program on long-term change in life course trajectory, and were suggestive with respect to the issue of amenability to treatment, i.e., the identification of subgroups of individuals in a target population who are likely to be the most amenable or responsive to a treatment.

Subject Area

Developmental psychology|Secondary education

Recommended Citation

Kortsch, Gabrielle Annemarie, "The possible selves method in evaluating youth development interventions: The use of Integrated Qualitative /Quantitative Data Analytic Strategies (IQ -DAS)" (2003). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI3085816.