Participation in Boys and Girls Clubs: Motivation and Stage Environment Fit
These authors present the results of semi-structured, in-depth interviews conducted with 54 youth attending six elementary school-based and middle school-based Boys and Girls Clubs in two low-income communities. The first goal of the study was to examine why youth choose to participate in these clubs. The most commonly reported motives include fun activities, opportunities to be with friends, parent has to work, and getting help with homework. The second goal was to examine youths' perceptions of staff, peers, activities, and the extent to which clubs are organized in a way that supports the need for relatedness, competence, and autonomy. Youths' perceptions of the quality of relationships with staff and peers, level of interest and challenge, and opportunities for decision making varied by developmental level (elementary versus middle school). The authors discuss the implications for sustaining youths' interest and continued involvement in out-of-school youth development programs. Modified AuthorAbstract.