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Afterschool programs have the potential to teach positive social, psychological, and physical skills to youth participants, but these benefits are not an automatic consequence of mere participation. Evidence-based research evaluating programs is necessary to determine magnitude of impact and explanations for positive season-long change. This study used a rigorous approach to evaluate the effectiveness of Girls on the Run on youth development, including competence, confidence, connection, character, caring (5Cs), and health outcomes. Because Girls on the Run (GOTR) is a positive youth development program, it was also important to assess if life skills were learned and transferred to other social situations. To accomplish study purposes, we asked two main questions: 1. Do Girls on the Run participants differ from a comparison group of girls not in Girls on the Run on developmental outcomes and life skills? 2. Do Girls on the Run participants show improvements from pre- to post-season on developmental outcomes and retain improvements three months after season’s end?

Publication Date





Educational Leadership

Girls on the Run: Longitudinal findinds inform transformational learning and leadership



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