Title

A Study of Transitions of Youth at Risk in Nontraditional Education Programs

Start Time

20-10-2011 7:30 PM

End Time

20-10-2011 8:45 PM

Session Type

Event

Abstract

Purpose: The poster presentation will illustrate a two-phased research study. The purpose of the first phase, the Youth Transitions Study, was to describe transitions of adolescents enrolled in one of 105 nontraditional state education programs. Completed in collaboration with a state oversight agency, this research provided a foundation for the second phase, the BEST Study (“Building Enhanced Services for Transition”), which uses a participatory action research design to develop models for best practices in transition in collaboration with five nontraditional state education programs.

Methods: In the Youth Transitions Study, a grounded theory approach was used to describe transitions of state agency youth from the perspectives of youth and administrators. Qualitative data included nine focus groups with all program administrators, five focus groups of five youth, ten individual youth interviews, 105 on-site individual interviews of program directors by program monitors, written Annual Site Reports for all programs, and written Site Transition Plans for all programs. Using constant comparative analysis of data sources, analytic memo writing, and collaborative critical analysis, a set of substantive codes emerged that describe current transition practices. Trustworthiness of the qualitative research was assured through triangulation of data sources and collaborative interdisciplinary team analysis.

In the BEST Study, a process of participatory action research is being used to create improvements to collaboratively-identified aspects of transition planning and services in five nontraditional state education programs. Using an action research cycle, site research teams continually improve a selected aspect of transition planning and services. Each site selected a different aspect of transition on which to focus.

Results: In the Youth Transitions Study, descriptive themes emanating from the analysis included: broad patterns of student characteristics, program entry practices, difficulty with accurate student recordkeeping, critical importance of student/adult relationships, problematic collaboration between disciplines and programs, the negative cultures of receiving traditional schools, the elements of successful transition programs currently in place including life skills, and future planning for and by youth in nontraditional educational programs.

In the BEST Study, collaborative dissemination to enable replication of successful programming developed through the study is in process. The poster presentation will emphasize one site in particular, which is developing a statewide advocacy network for transitioning youth.

Discussion Objectives:

  1. To consider methodological issues of qualitative, participatory research in multi-site, team-based studies
  2. From an occupational science perspective, to explore the unique role of occupational therapy in providing individualized transition services in nontraditional settings to youth at-risk, a historically underserved population

References

Charmaz, K. (2008). Constructing grounded theory: A practical guide through qualitative analysis. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

McIntyre, A. (2007). Participatory action research. Thousand Oaks: Sage.

Pierce, D., Powell, N., Marshall, A., Nolan, R., & Fehringer, E. (2010). Kentucky youth at risk transitions: A report to the Commonwealth. Richmond, KY: Kentucky Educational Collaborative for State Agency Programs.

Stewart, D., Stavness, C., King, G., Antle, B., & Law, M. (2006). A critical appraisal of literature reviews about the transition to adulthood for youth with disabilities. Physical and Occupational Therapy in Pediatrics, 26, 5-24. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/J006v26n04_02

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Oct 20th, 7:30 PM Oct 20th, 8:45 PM

A Study of Transitions of Youth at Risk in Nontraditional Education Programs

Purpose: The poster presentation will illustrate a two-phased research study. The purpose of the first phase, the Youth Transitions Study, was to describe transitions of adolescents enrolled in one of 105 nontraditional state education programs. Completed in collaboration with a state oversight agency, this research provided a foundation for the second phase, the BEST Study (“Building Enhanced Services for Transition”), which uses a participatory action research design to develop models for best practices in transition in collaboration with five nontraditional state education programs.

Methods: In the Youth Transitions Study, a grounded theory approach was used to describe transitions of state agency youth from the perspectives of youth and administrators. Qualitative data included nine focus groups with all program administrators, five focus groups of five youth, ten individual youth interviews, 105 on-site individual interviews of program directors by program monitors, written Annual Site Reports for all programs, and written Site Transition Plans for all programs. Using constant comparative analysis of data sources, analytic memo writing, and collaborative critical analysis, a set of substantive codes emerged that describe current transition practices. Trustworthiness of the qualitative research was assured through triangulation of data sources and collaborative interdisciplinary team analysis.

In the BEST Study, a process of participatory action research is being used to create improvements to collaboratively-identified aspects of transition planning and services in five nontraditional state education programs. Using an action research cycle, site research teams continually improve a selected aspect of transition planning and services. Each site selected a different aspect of transition on which to focus.

Results: In the Youth Transitions Study, descriptive themes emanating from the analysis included: broad patterns of student characteristics, program entry practices, difficulty with accurate student recordkeeping, critical importance of student/adult relationships, problematic collaboration between disciplines and programs, the negative cultures of receiving traditional schools, the elements of successful transition programs currently in place including life skills, and future planning for and by youth in nontraditional educational programs.

In the BEST Study, collaborative dissemination to enable replication of successful programming developed through the study is in process. The poster presentation will emphasize one site in particular, which is developing a statewide advocacy network for transitioning youth.

Discussion Objectives:

  1. To consider methodological issues of qualitative, participatory research in multi-site, team-based studies
  2. From an occupational science perspective, to explore the unique role of occupational therapy in providing individualized transition services in nontraditional settings to youth at-risk, a historically underserved population