Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

It's Hard Work That Fosters Responsibility In Teen Programs

Date:
February 15, 2009
Source:
Society for Research in Child Development
Summary:
Researchers surveying more than 100 high schoolers involved in 11 different summer and after-school programs find that it's not the fun and games of these programs but the tough tasks -- those that ask young people to make sacrifices and do difficult things for the good of the group -- that are most likely to foster responsibility and self-discipline. In fact, many respondents spontaneously reported that developing responsibility was a goal of their participation in these programs.

Millions of American teenagers participate in Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, 4-H, and other programs designed to develop responsibility in young people. A new study suggests that it's not the fun and games of these programs, but the tough tasks—those that ask young people to make sacrifices and do difficult things for the good of the group—that are most likely to foster responsibility and self-discipline.

The study was conducted by researchers at Wake Forest University and the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

The researchers surveyed more than 100 high schoolers who took part in 11 different summer and after-school programs. Many teens spontaneously reported that developing responsibility was a goal of their participation in the program. They said they achieved this goal by having important official roles, investing time, and being committed to the adults and other youths in the program.

These young people also said the program helped them develop responsibility by asking them to carry out demanding tasks, from caring for pigs in an FFA agricultural program to forgoing time with friends to attend rehearsals of a school play. Programs that were deemed most successful in increasing teens' responsibility were those that gave young people ownership for their ideas, were highly structured, held teens accountable for their work, and expected a lot of the participants.

"Although the teenagers we interviewed generally enjoyed their program experiences overall, it is the programs in which young people are called to perform tasks that are boring, difficult, or obligatory that are most likely to help them develop characteristics like responsibility and self-discipline," according to Dustin Wood, assistant professor of psychology at Wake Forest University, who led the study.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Society for Research in Child Development. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Wood, D et al. How Adolescents Come to See Themselves as More Responsible Through Participation in Youth Programs. Child Development, Vol. 80, Issue 1 Jan/Feb 2009

Cite This Page:

Society for Research in Child Development. "It's Hard Work That Fosters Responsibility In Teen Programs." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 February 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090206081310.htm>.
Society for Research in Child Development. (2009, February 15). It's Hard Work That Fosters Responsibility In Teen Programs. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090206081310.htm
Society for Research in Child Development. "It's Hard Work That Fosters Responsibility In Teen Programs." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090206081310.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The new sci-fi thriller "Lucy" is making people question whether we really use all our brainpower. But, as scientists have insisted for years, we do. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do Obese Women Have 'Food Learning Impairment'?

Do Obese Women Have 'Food Learning Impairment'?

Newsy (July 18, 2014) Yale researchers tested 135 men and women, and it was only obese women who were deemed to have "impaired associative learning." Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Does Mixing Alcohol and Energy Drinks Boost Urge To Drink?

Does Mixing Alcohol and Energy Drinks Boost Urge To Drink?

Newsy (July 18, 2014) A new study suggests that mixing alcohol with energy drinks makes you want to keep the party going. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pot Cooking Class Teaches Responsible Eating

Pot Cooking Class Teaches Responsible Eating

AP (July 18, 2014) Following the nationwide trend of eased restrictions on marijuana use, pot edibles are growing in popularity. One Boston-area cooking class is teaching people how to eat pot responsibly. (July 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins