Date of Award

Fall 12-2019

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Applied Developmental Psychology



Major Professor

Rubens, Sonia

Second Advisor

Scaramella, Laura

Third Advisor

Frick, Paul

Fourth Advisor

Scalco, Matthew


Community-based youth non-profit organizations (NPOs) have become increasingly popular for the provision of youth prevention and intervention services, yet many youth NPOs lack the resources to undergo formal evaluation. Further, most existing program evaluations do not consider individual characteristics of the child or the child’s exposure to stressors. The current pilot study sought to evaluate the extent to which boys participated in 1:1 mentoring and other program activities at the Son of a Saint (SOAS) NPO, an organization seeking to provide positive male role models for fatherless young boys. In addition, the current study examined the effects of program involvement on both prosocial (i.e., academic performance) and antisocial (i.e., aggression and delinquency) outcomes, as well as the moderating role of callous-unemotional (CU) traits and exposure to trauma/stressors on study outcomes. Data were collected from mothers (N = 37) and boys (N = 27) at the first assessment point, and from mothers (N = 21) one year later. Results of bivariate correlational and regression analyses at T1 indicated that boys who have been part of SOAS for shorter durations had higher levels of participation overall, and that behavioral/academic problems were associated with more program participation. Results at T2 indicated that participation in a greater variety of activities was related to lower levels of antisocial behavior. No significant interactions were detected for either CU traits or trauma exposure in the current sample. Implications of findings are discussed with regard to future program evaluation at SOAS. Detailed recommendations for overcoming the study limitations, particularly regarding the small sample size, are provided.


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