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«BY C 2008 Jeong Woong Cheon B.A., Chungang University (Seoul, Republic of Korea), 1982 M.A., Chungang University (Seoul, Republic of Korea), 1984 ...»

-- [ Page 1 ] --

POSITIVE YOUTH DEVELOPMENT AND

YOUTH-PROFESSIONAL RELATIONSHIPS: EXPLORING THE NATURE OF

STRENGTHS-BASED PRACTICES WITH CHILDREN AND YOUTH

FROM PROFESSIONALS’ PERSPECTIVES

BY

C 2008

Jeong Woong Cheon

B.A., Chungang University (Seoul, Republic of Korea), 1982

M.A., Chungang University (Seoul, Republic of Korea), 1984 Ph.D., Chungang University (Seoul, Republic of Korea), 1994 Submitted to the School of Social Welfare and the Faculty of the Graduate School of the University of Kansas in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy ____________________________________

Chairperson ____________________________________

____________________________________

____________________________________

____________________________________

Date defended: ___________________________________

The Dissertation Committee for Jeong Woong Cheon certifies

that this is the approved version of the following dissertation:

POSITIVE YOUTH DEVELOPMENT AND

YOUTH-PROFESSIONAL RELATIONSHIPS: EXPLORING THE NATURE OF

STRENGTHS-BASED PRACTICES WITH CHILDREN AND YOUTH

FROM PROFESSIONALS’ PERSPECTIVES

Committee:

____________________________________

Chairperson ____________________________________

____________________________________

____________________________________

____________________________________

Date approved: ___________________________

ii

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this study was to explore the nature of positive youth development as it incorporates aspects of the strengths perspective. This study focused on youth professionals’ understanding of the meaning of youth development, the importance of youth-adult relationships, and the benefits and challenges to successful practices. A qualitative study based on in-depth interviews with 18 youth professionals, including nine social workers, was conducted. The analysis revealed that youth development is applied to work with youth in a variety of settings and the strengths perspective has been applied to the field of social work and youth development.

The study identified that the field of social work with youth is moving beyond treatment and prevention toward youth promotion practice as a convergence of a strengths perspective and youth development. Insights from participants and the literature were synthesized to present a conceptualization of youth promotion and its implications for social work.

–  –  –

This work would not have been possible without the contributions of many people. First of all, I would like to acknowledge my father, Yong Eob Cheon and my mother, Tae Ja Hong, for their love, patience, and understanding of my life. My father-in-law, Gyu Sang Jeong, and mother-in-law, Hyun Sook Lee, supported my life and study with heart and generosity. They have been a source of great strengths throughout my life and without them none of this would be possible. I dedicate this work to the memory of my father, Yong Eob Cheon (1930 – 2005). I am grateful for the many gifts he has given me and for his life-long teaching. It is my deepest regret that he is not with us to see my return with this completion of additional academic journey in America.

My next thanks go to my committee members. I would like to express the deepest appreciation for my advisor and dissertation chairperson, Dr. Edward Canda, who has guided me throughout my doctoral program. This dissertation would not have been possible without his encouragement, trust, and support. I also would like to give special thanks to Dr. Terry Koenig, who acted as my methodologist. This research project owes a great debt to her valuable comments and detailed feedback. I would like to thank my other committee members, Dr. Ann Weick, Dr. Chris Petr, Dr. Holly Nelson-Becker, and Dr. Suzanne Rice for their thoughtful comments and valuable suggestions in shaping up this dissertation. In particular, I would like to thank Dr. Holly Nelson-Becker for substituting for Dr. Ann Weick at my dissertation defense at very short notice. These are the people who have lifted me up to a place higher than I have ever dreamed of reaching.

I also have to thank Dr. Ronna Chamberlain, Dr. Stephen Kapp, Dr. Susan Corrigan, Dr.

Tom McDonald, and Ms. Cheryl Holmes for their generous supports and encouragements to my

–  –  –

Office of Social Policy and Analysis (OSPA) and the Office of Child Welfare and Children’s Mental Health (OCC) for the whole duration of my employment and study at the University of Kansas. I appreciate the professional development opportunities shared generously by some of them. Another expression of thanks is extended to the youth professionals and panel members who participated in this research and shared their experiences.

Finally, I would like to thank my wife, Yoon Seon Jeong for making me what I am today.





Words cannot express how much I appreciate her patience, endurance, and sacrifice to take over all household works and children’s education. Her calming influence and support always spurs me to achieve greater things in life. I also would like to thank my son, Seong Bae, and my daughter, Keong Min, for their successful school life and advances in their life paths. My brother, Moo Woong, Seong Woong, Kwang Woong, my sister, Myeong Ok, Myeong A, brother-in-law, Dr. Yang Sik Park, and sister-in-law, Hee Seon Jeong also deserve my appreciation for their taking care of my mother and parents-in-law instead of me and my wife as we live in 12000 miles away and their endless support and pray for my successful life.

–  –  –

ABSTRACT

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

TABLE OF CONTENTS

LIST OF TABLES

LIST OF FIGURES

CHAPTER I: INTRODUCTION

INTRODUCTION

STATEMENT OF THE ISSUES

Social Work Involvement in Youth Development Practice

Strengths-Based Positive Youth Development Practice

Youth Professionals and Supportive Youth-Professionals Relationship

PURPOSE OF THE STUDY

Research Questions

GUIDING CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORKS

Ecological Perspective

Empowerment Models

Social Goals Model

Strengths Perspective

SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

Research Plan

–  –  –

SUMMARY

CHAPTER II: LITERATURE REVIEW

INTRODUCTION

HISTORICAL CONTEXTS OF PROBLEM-FOCUSED PERSPECTIVES

Problem-focused Perspectives

Youth problems and social work

Negative representation of youth

Problem-focused perspectives in social work

Critique of the Problem-focused Perspective

Challenges to negative views of youth.

Criticism in social work literature

EVOLUTION OF STRENGTHS-BASED YOUTH PRACTICES

Emergence of a Strengths Perspective and Youth Development

Positive views on adolescents.

The strengths perspective

Youth development

Development and Application of Strengths-based Practices with Youth

The strengths perspective in social work.

The strengths perspective in youth development.

Youth development in social welfare.

The Converging Characteristics of Strengths-based Practices

Commonalities between the strengths perspective and positive youth development.......... 32

–  –  –

Principles of strengths-based practices.

STRENGTHS-BASED PRACTICE IN POSITIVE YOUTH DEVELOPMENT

The Youth Development Field and Youth-Serving Organizations

The field of youth development.

Roles of youth-serving organization

Roles of youth professionals in positive youth development

Youth-Professional Relationships in Positive Youth Development Practices

Significance of youth-professional relationships

The nature of the youth-professional relationships.

Challenges to supportive relationships

RESEARCH ON POSITIVE YOUTH DEVELOPMENT PRACTICES

Positive Youth Development Practice

Research on Youth-Professional Relationship

NEGLECTED AREAS OF YOUTH DEVELOPMENT PRACTICES

SUMMARY

CHAPTER III: METHODOLOGY

INTRODUCTION

RATIONALE FOR THE RESEARCH DESIGN

Research Paradigm: Heuristic Paradigm and Naturalistic Inquiry

Rationale for Qualitative Design

RESTATEMENT OF RESEARCH QUESTION

Key Concepts Definitions

–  –  –

METHODOLOGY FOR DATA COLLECTION

Data Sources

Interviews with Participants

Instrumentation for Data Collection

Sampling

Purposive sampling

Maximum variation

Participant recruitment

Sample size

Protection of Human Subjects

METHODOLOGY FOR DATA ANALYSIS

Plan for Data Analysis

Analytic process

Consultation panels.

Constant Comparative Analysis

Deductive and Inductive Data Analysis

Using Atlas.ti as a Tool for Data Analysis

TRUSTWORTHINESS

Credibility

Triangulation.

Peer debriefing

Member checking

–  –  –

Confirmability

Transferability

LIMITATIONS

SUMMARY

CHAPTER IV: FINDINGS

INTRODUCTION

CHARACTERISTICS OF THE PARTICIPANTS

Youth Professionals with Non Social Work Education

Youth Professionals with Social Education

Comparison of Participants’ Characteristics

CASE ILLUSTRATIONS

David

Amy

Pam

DESCRIPTIONS OF THE DEFINITIONS AND PRACTICE PRINCIPLES OF YOUTH DEVELOPMENT...... 99

Definitions of Positive Youth Development and the Strengths Perspective

Youth development

The strengths perspective

Similarities and Differences of Youth Development and the Strengths Perspctive............. 109 Practice application of the two perspectives

Similarities of the two perspectives

Differences between the two perspectives

–  –  –

Strengths, skills, and resources

Working relationships

Participation

Self-awareness

Safety

Faith, mission, and being non judgmental

PROFESSIONALS’ UNDERSTANDINGS OF YOUTH-ADULT RELATIONSHIP

Understanding the Roles of Professionals

Perceptions of Effective Youth-Adult Relationship

Importance of youth-adult relationship

Attributes of effective youth-adult relationship

Professional Boundaries

Importance of professional boundaries

Definition and meaning of professional boundaries

Ethical issues

PERCEPTIONS OF THE BENEFITS AND CHALLENGES OF YOUTH DEVELOPMENT PRACTICES...... 145

Benefits of Strengths-based Practice

Benefits to youth

Benefits to youth professionals

Supporting Factors and Challenges

Supporting factors

Challenging factors

–  –  –

SUGGESTIONS FOR BETTER STRENGTHS-BASED YOUTH DEVELOPMENT PRACTICE.................. 170 Perceptions of Youth Development As a Profession

Youth development is a profession

Youth development needs to be a profession.

Youth development is not recognized as a profession.

Youth development is a part of social work

Similarities and Differences between Youth Development and Social Work

Usefulness of social work

Similarities between youth development and social work

Differences between youth development and social work

Suggestions for the Promotion of Youth Development Practice

Suggestions for youth professionals and strengths-based practice.

Suggestions for social work education.

SUMMARY

CHAPTER V: DISCUSSION AND IMPLICATION

INTRODUCTION

CONVERGENCE OF A STRENGTHS PERSPECTIVE AND YOUTH DEVELOPMENT: TOWARD YOUTH

PROMOTION

Converging Characteristics of Youth Promotion Practice

The Necessity and Importance of a Convergence of the Strengths-based Practices............ 208 A CONCEPTUAL MODEL OF YOUTH PROMOTION

Defining Youth Promotion Practice

–  –  –

Key Principles or Themes of the Youth Promotion Practice

IMPLICATIONS FOR SOCIAL WORK

Implication for Social Work Practice

Implication for Social Work Education

Implication for Social Policy

Implication for Research and Future Study

SUMMARY

REFERENCE

APPENDICES

Appendix A: Phases of Inquiry

Appendix B: Interview Guide

Appendix C: Invitation Script for Research Participants

Appendix D: Screening Questionnaire

Appendix E: Informed Consent Form

Appendix F: Coding Scheme

Appendix G: Preliminary Report for Final Member Checking

Appendix H: Audit Trail Contents

–  –  –

Table 1 Characteristics of Participants - Non Social Workers

Table 2 Characteristics of Participants – Social Workers

Table 3 Comparison of Characteristics of Non Social Work and Social Work Participants........ 90 Table 4 Similarities between Youth Development and the Strengths Perspective

Table 5 Differences between Youth Development and the Strengths Perspective

Table 6 Comparison of Practice Principles

Table 7 Comparision of Effective Youth-Adult Relationship

Table 8 Supporting Factors and Challenges of Youth Development Practice

Table 9 Important Agency Context

Table 10 Youth Development aa s Profession and Social Work

Table 11 Comparision of Similarities between Youth Development and Social Work................ 182 Table 12 Differences between Youth Development Practice and Social Work Practice.............. 186 Table 13 Comparision of Qualification, Education, and Training

Table 14 Synthesis of Youth Promotion Practice

–  –  –



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