September 2003
Child Study Journal;2003, Vol. 33 Issue 3, p165
Academic Journal
Life skills give children the tools they need for perceiving or responding to diverse life situations and achieving their personal goals. Participation in quality afterschool programs, frequent interaction with competent adults, and participation in programs using experiential or cooperative learning have all been found to contribute to children's social development and academic success. It is possible that life skill development is the process through which these program features contribute to child development. The current research examines the development of life skills within a sample of kindergarten through sixth grade students enrolled in 4-H Afterschool Programs, which utilize experiential and cooperative learning activities and provides interaction with competent adults. Results of retrospective pre/post-surveys indicate that children enrolled in the program showed life skill gain over time, and that gains on specific life skills differed as a function of age, gender, and ethnicity. Implications for practice and future research are discussed.


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