Improving Early Adolescent Girls' Social Self-Concept: Using a Mixed Methods Evaluation to Build the Growing Girls Program
AuthorShinaberry, Kaitlyn Anne
Nuño, Velia Leybas
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractBACKGROUND: Social self-concept is a foundational construct in the healthy development of early adolescent girls; however, few gender-specific social self-concept interventions exist to support adolescent girls' development. OBJECTIVES: The overarching goal of the dissertation was to enhance the design, delivery, and evaluation of the Growing Girls Program. To achieve this, three distinct yet complimentary aims were established, to: (1) identify best practices in existing social self-concept interventions, (2) evaluate the effect of the current Growing Girls Program on early adolescent girls' social self-concept, and (3) identify gender-specific messages that early adolescent girls interpret from print media. METHODS: The dissertation employs a mixed-methods design, integrating findings from a systematic review of social self-concept interventions, content analysis of parent focus groups (n=4) and interviews (n=11), quantitative analysis of participant questionnaires (n=40) and visual content analysis of adolescent created collages (n=20). RESULTS: The results by specific aim illustrated: 1) the value of interventions that are: implemented in the school setting, developmentally and culturally appropriate, informed by theory, led by well-trained and supported facilitators, and implemented for 12 weeks to 6 months in duration, 2) that the evaluation of the Growing Girls Program provided promising evidence for its future implementation; and 3) that early adolescent girls perceived media messages to promote the importance of physical beauty, sex-appeal, cosmetic use, confidence, designer brands, perfect bodies and health. CONCLUSIONS: This study contributes to the improvement of the Growing Girls Program, and thereby to the practice of promoting early adolescent girls' social self-concept. Findings illustrate the lack of interventions focused on social self-concept and the challenges of adequately conceptualizing and measuring the construct. Therefore, the enhancement of the gender-specific Growing Girls Program fills an important gap in the social self-concept development literature. RECOMMENDATIONS: The Growing Girls Program should retain current practices assumed to be associated with its success, including its developmentally appropriate, gender specific, 22-week curriculum, its school-based setting, its use of trained and well-supported program facilitators, and it fidelity tracking. To improve, the program should 1) add lessons on the subjects of physical beauty, sex appeal, and the need to appear confident, 2) reduce levels of attrition, and 3) enhance its evaluation practices by including a comparison group, utilizing alternative self-report social self-concept measures, and including a follow up post-intervention.
Degree ProgramGraduate College