To participate or not to participate: that is the question.

Lynne M. Borden, Daniel F. Perkins, Francisco A. Villarruel, Margaret R. Stone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Do I wish to participate or not to participate in this program? That is the question that young people ask themselves when considering a new opportunity. What can be done to increase the likelihood that they will choose to participate in out-of-school-time (OST) programs? This chapter describes a qualitative study that examined reasons for participating or not participating in OST programs. Some common reasons emerged, but the study also revealed differences among youth from different ethnic groups. It is clear that those who design and conduct programs must understand the processes through which diverse adolescents initiate their participation in programs and either persist or drop out. Given the apparent benefits of active participation in youth programs, it is important to remove barriers and increase access and, equally important, design programs that are of interest to youth in the contexts in which they live.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-49
Number of pages17
JournalNew directions for youth development
Issue number105
StatePublished - 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine

Cite this