Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Agricultural, Extension Education, & Evaluation

Document Type



Program quality is the program characteristics, indicators, and implementation practices that stakeholders mutually agreed upon. These program quality components are interlinked. Therefore, it is critical to help youth practitioners think through the logical connection among the components of program quality. This can be partly achieved through professional development, which equips practitioners with competencies necessary to perform their tasks. As a result, a staff training model was designed to corroborate the work that has been done in the positive youth development field with the aim of achieving program quality using a systematic review method. This staff training model comprises four components: child/youth development, social ecological theory, program management, and program theory. This factorial structure of this model was assessed using exploratory factor analysis and confirmatory analysis using the responses from the Positive Youth Development Program Quality Competency Questionnaire (PYDPQCQ). The analyses yielded a valid, reliable 42- item, 6 factor solution. Additionally, the existence of a social support system for the youth development professionals was described using frequency, percentage and social network analysis. The members of the social support system was mainly the participants’ colleagues. The members of the social support system including the participants formed four main social communities. The social communities together appeared to form a sphere with the members of the social support system on the surface.



Committee Chair

Cater, Melissa