MEASURING OUTCOMES IN YOUTH WORK: THE EFFICACY OF POSITIVE PSYCHOLOGY

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Author(s): Leighann Ryan Culleton and Mandy Robbins

To cite this article: Culleton, L. R. & Robbins, M. (2022). Measuring outcomes in youth work: The efficacy of positive psychology, Methodological approaches to research in youth work: Changing the paradigm, Youth Voice Journal, pp. 64-81. ISBN(ONLINE): 978-1-911634-42-3

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ABSTRACT

Providers of youth work provision in Ireland are increasingly finding themselves in a position of having to demonstrate the impact that they have among the young people with whom they work. This paper suggests that a positive psychology framework operationalised through the PERMA questionnaire is one way in which impact can be assessed among young people. The PERMA model assessing the five dimensions of: Positive emotion, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning, and Accomplishment. First this paper sets out the background to current youth work in Ireland; second, it presents an overview of positive psychology with a focus on the PERMA model. Third, this paper presents an overview of one study that has been conducted in Ireland employing the positive psychology framework. Finally, this paper suggests the implications of using this methodological framework for assessing the impact of youth work in different contexts.

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