Interventions Using Regular Activities to Engage High-Risk School-Age Youth: a Review of After-School Programs in Latin America and the Caribbean

Produced by: 
Munich Personal RePEc Archive
Available from: 
October 2017
Paper author(s): 
Alejandro Cid
Topic: 
Conflict, Crime and Violence
Education - Health
Year: 
2018

This research provides the review of an issue that is an urgent challenge in the development field: the effectiveness of after-school programs on preventing school-age youth violence in vulnerable settings of developing countries. The existence of highly underprivileged youth in poor neighborhoods and its association with violence have spurred a variety of programs covered by the name of after-school activities. Most rigorous trials of after-school interventions to prevent youth violence have been conducted in developed countries, with far fewer in Latin America. In this review, ranges of databases were systematically searched. Six studies in five Latin American and Caribbean countries have been identified, and most reported results favor after-school. But also some concerns have emerged: the results in some domains of youth behavior are null or even negative for some subpopulations. These findings suggest that after-school interventions hold significant promise for preventing violence and criminal behavior in at-risk school-age youth, but also that there is an urgent need for a significant upgrade in the quality of the programs and in the fidelity of the implementation. The identified concerns also demand more rigorously evaluated and reported studies, even of the different components of the interventions.

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