Document Type




First Advisor's Name

William M. Kurtines

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Mary Levitt

Third Advisor's Name

Wendy Silverman

Fourth Advisor's Name

Robert Lickliter

Fifth Advisor's Name

Marilyn Montgomery


developmental intervention science, positive youth development, identity development, Relational Data Analysis

Date of Defense



Convergence among treatment, prevention, and developmental intervention approaches has led to the recognition of the need for evaluation models and research designs that employ a full range of evaluation information to provide an empirical basis for enhancing the efficiency, efficacy, and effectiveness of prevention and positive development interventions. This study reports an investigation of a positive youth development program using an Outcome Mediation Cascade (OMC) evaluation model, an integrated model for evaluating the empirical intersection between intervention and developmental processes. The Changing Lives Program (CLP) is a community supported positive youth development intervention implemented in a practice setting as a selective/indicated program for multi-ethnic, multi-problem at risk youth in urban alternative high schools. This study used a Relational Data Analysis integration of quantitative and qualitative data analysis strategies, including the use of both fixed and free response measures and a structural equation modeling approach, to construct and evaluate the hypothesized OMC model. Findings indicated that the hypothesized model fit the data (χ2 (7) = 6.991, p = .43; RMSEA = .00; CFI = 1.00; WRMR = .459). Findings also provided preliminary evidence consistent with the hypothesis that in addition to having effects on targeted positive outcomes, PYD interventions are likely to have progressive cascading effects on untargeted problem outcomes that operate through effects on positive outcomes. Furthermore, the general pattern of findings suggested the need to use methods capable of capturing both quantitative and qualitative change in order to increase the likelihood of identifying more complete theory informed empirically supported models of developmental intervention change processes.





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