Investigating Group Processes in a Positive Youth Development Program For Multi-Problem Youth

Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor's Name

William Kurtines

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Mark Macgowan

Third Advisor's Name

Marilyn Montgomery

Fourth Advisor's Name

Mary Levitt

Fifth Advisor's Name

Wendy Silverman

Date of Defense



This study investigated group processes as potential mediators or moderators of positive development outcome and negative reduction intervention response by evaluating the utility of a group measure modified from a widely known measure of group impact found in the group therapy research literature. Four group processes were of primary interest, (1) Group Impact (2) Facilitator Impact (3) Skills Impact and (4) Exploration Impact as assessed by the Session Evaluation Form (SEF). Outcome measures included the Personally Expressive Activities Questionnaire (PEAQ), Erikson Psycho-Social Index (EPSI) and the Zill Behavior Items, Behavior Problem Index (ZBI (BPI)). The sample consisted of 121 multi-ethnic participants drawn from four alternative high schools from the Miami-Dade County Public School system. Utilizing a Latent Growth Curve Modeling approach with Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) statistics, preliminary analyses were conducted to evaluate the psychometric properties of the SEF and Its role in the mediation or moderation of intervention outcome. Preliminary results revealed evidence of a single higher order factor representing a “General” global reaction, which was hypothesized to be a “Positive Group Climate” construct to the program as opposed, to the four distinct group processes that were initially hypothesized to affect outcomes. The results of the evaluation of the mediation or moderation role of intervention outcome of the single “General” global latent factor (“Positive Group Climate” construct) did not significantly predict treatment response on any of the outcome variables. Nevertheless, the evidence of an underlying “General” global latent factor (“Positive Group Climate” construct) has important future directions for research on positive youth development programs as well as in group therapy research.



This document is currently not available here.



Rights Statement

Rights Statement

In Copyright. URI:
This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).