OST SIG RC Issue 9 Kataoka - School of Education

Issue 9, May 2015
You are the winner of the 2015 OST SIG
Emerging Scholar Award. What does this
recognition mean to you?
how to support youth with the out-of-school
opportunities and resources they need to be
successful in life. I focus on out-of-school
time because it is a less studied, but equally
Winning this award is an honor and renews critical space as the in-school arena for
my determination to conduct quality learning and development, especially when
research that furthers our understanding of considering how the out-of-school hours—
youth development. Sometimes as a including afterschool, weekend, and summer
graduate student, you wonder if your work —can narrow opportunity and achievement
will be acknowledged and have impact on gaps over time. For disadvantaged youth,
the field. Everyone is working on a small the average amount of learning hours
piece of the pie of knowledge, and it is outside of school is much fewer than that of
encouraging to have your piece recognized. their well-off peers. As youth age, such outHaving said that, each
of-school learning inequities
piece is important and
can then translate to
devastating gaps across
multiple dimensions of
p e r s p e c t i v e s a n d renews my determination to developmental functioning.
research, so this award conduct quality research that
reminds me that the furthers our understanding of M u c h o f m y r e s e a r c h
advances each of us youth development.”
examines disadvantaged,
make are intertwined
low-income samples and the
with, and made possible by, countless past differential patterns and outcomes of out-ofachievements in the OST community. I school time participation for diverse youth.
admire the OST SIG’s effort to recognize There is much work to be done to explain
graduate students within this community, what kinds of effects out-of-school activities
as this communicates the confidence placed h a v e , f o r w h o m , a n d u n d e r w h a t
in the potential of young researchers and circumstances. Understanding differential
the responsibility given to them to make outcomes of participation for different youth
valuable contributions to the literature.
can help determine which youth benefit
most from certain kinds of out-of-school
The AERA 2015 theme is, Toward Justice: experiences. My findings suggest that
Culture, Language, and Heritage in accounting for psychological and behavioral
Education Research and Praxis. How does influences on developmental processes
your work address justice?
elucidates for whom and under what
circumstances out-of-school organized
Addressing justice is very important to me. activities are developmentally favorable and
The goal of my research is to understand likely to foster positive academic outcomes.
AERA OST SIG Series - OST World: Research Connections
Issue 9, May 2015
What interested you to focus your research Psychological and behavioral characteristics
o n p s y c h o l o g i c a l a n d b e h a v i o r a l are considered the most likely person
characteristics of youth that influence out-of- c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s f r o m a b i o e c o l o g i c a l
s c h o o l a c t i v i t y i n v o l v e m e n t a n d perspective to influence future development,
developmental outcomes?
which Bronfenbrenner and Morris (2006)
termed “force” characteristics. There are
Characteristics of youth participants are developmentally generative (e.g., curiosity)
important determinants of out-of-school and developmentally disruptive (e.g.,
activity involvement and developmental explosiveness) characteristics. It is such
outcomes. Some of these characteristics are characteristics that I am interested in
demographic and others include those that studying as predictors of out-of-school
reflect how we think and behave. My activity involvement, moderators of relations
interest in psychological and behavioral between out-of-school activity participation
c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s w a s p i q u e d t h r o u g h and developmental outcomes, and mediators
reviewing research in the positive youth of relations between out-of-school activity
development and positive psychology fields, participation and developmental outcomes.
which incorporate
the study of person “Understanding differential outcomes Reference:
c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , of participation for different youth can Bronfenbrenner, U., & Morris,
b e y o n d help determine which youth benefit P. (2006). The bioecological
demographics, to most from certain kinds of out-of- model of human development.
In W. Damon (Editor-in-Chief)
understand youth school experiences. My findings & R. M. Lerner (Vol. Ed.),
s u g g e s t t h a t a c c o u n t i n g f o r Handbook of child psychology:
p s y c h o l o g i c a l a n d b e h a v i o r a l Vol. 1. Theoretical models of
I n o t i c e d t h a t influences on developmental processes human development (6th ed.,
within the out-of- elucidates for whom and under what pp. 793-828). Hoboken, NJ:
t i m e circumstances out-of-school organized John Wiley & Sons.
literature, little a c t i v i t i e s a r e d e v e l o p m e n t a l l y
attention had been favorable and likely to foster positive Your dissertation research
finds that “for boys,
g i v e n t o t h e academic outcomes.”
consistent out-of-school
psychological and
activity participation across
b e h a v i o r a l
characteristics of youth that should predict childhood relates neither to improved
not only participation in out-of-school psychosocial maturity nor to improved school
activities, but also the developmental grades in high school, but for girls,
outcomes of those experiences. Instead, out- consistent out-of-school activity participation
of-school outcome research predominantly significantly predicts both improved
focused on the contextual characteristics of psychosocial maturity and school grades in
activities associated with youth outcomes. To high school.” What contributes to the gender
c o m p r e h e n s i v e l y u n d e r s t a n d t h e differences in out-of-school context?
developmental consequences of a given
context, the youth participating in it must be Research continues to examine the multiple
contributing factors to gender differences in
the out-of-school time context. One possible
factor that is relevant to my findings is that
boys may be more sensitive to the quality of
AERA OST SIG Series - OST World: Research Connections
Issue 9, May 2015
their experiences in out-of-school activities, nutrition and physical inactivity. Health
which is a gender difference affecting child affects many aspects of a child’s life,
adjustment that has been reported in i n c l u d i n g s c h o o l f u n c t i o n i n g a n d
childcare settings as well. For boys, achievement. Out-of-school time offers
examining only the consistency of activity numerous opportunities for children and
participation across childhood may not be youth to have structured experiences
meaningful in predicting long-term high dedicated to helping them establish
school differences in psychosocial maturity healthier lifestyles.
I am interested in
and academic functioning. Creative ways to exploring how psychological and behavioral
account for the variable quality of out-of- youth characteristics shed light on the
school experiences
diverse responses of youth
over a significant
to health programs and
length of time, such “I am interested in exploring how our understanding of what
as the six-year period psychological and behavioral youth is effective and for whom.
i n m y s t u d y, a r e characteristics shed light on the Something as critical to
diverse responses of youth to health e d u c a t i o n
A n o t h e r p o s s i b l e programs and our understanding of developmental functioning
contributor is that what is effective and for whom. —but often overlooked—
the rate of change in Something as critical to education and as young people’s health is
structured activity developmental functioning--but often a priority that I feel
involvement during overlooked--as young people’s health is p a s s i o n a t e a b o u t
t h e t r a n s i t i o n t o a priority that I feel passionate about a d d r e s s i n g i n f u t u r e
adolescence differs addressing in future endeavors.”
between boys and
girls. Some research indicates that changes What excites you about the OST field today?
in children’s leisure and structured activities
from childhood to adolescence occur at an It is exciting to see OST steadily gaining
increased rate in boys compared to girls. greater recognition as a significant
Out-of-school activity participation during educational context for children and youth.
the middle school transitional period may be Learning takes place in more than just the
influencing psychosocial and academic i n - s c h o o l c o n t e x t , a n d o u t - o f - s c h o o l
changes in high school for boys more experiences can play an integral part to a
significantly than it is for girls, whose child’s development and education. Viewing
changes in out-of-school participation may be the child as a whole and understanding that
less variable compared to boys’ over the experiences in one context can affect
developmental changes in another context, it
becomes clear that schools, families, and outWhat is next in your research exploration?
of-school communities need to possess unity
of mind and take on the challenge together
I would like to continue studying person- of raising children and youth throughout the
level youth characteristics in the process of day and year.
development and apply my models to
understanding out-of-school time health Efforts to improve practice in response to
efforts that attend to issues such as poor research continue to help the OST field
AERA OST SIG Series - OST World: Research Connections
advance. With the case of
out-of-school quality, we
know that there are
significant associations
between dimensions of high
quality and positive
developmental outcomes,
including academic
performance. Based on such
research, staff training
resources have expanded and
been improved to support the
delivery of high quality
programming. For example,
the UCI School of Education
offers the Certificate of
Afterschool Education
program, which is a training
program for those who want
to serve youth in out-ofschool settings. The program
engages students in a
minimum of 6 courses and 70
fieldwork hours, which
places them in a position to
provide much higher quality
programming than would be
possible without such
training. This kind of
training is very different
from the typical case in
which out-of-school staff are
hired with little experience
and subsequently provided
with minimal formal
training. As the OST
community continues to
support improvements to
practice, I am excited to see
how the field of out-of-school
education develops in the
decades to come.
Sabrina Kataoka is a graduate student in the University of California,
Irvine's Ph.D. in Education program, specializing in Learning, Cognition,
and Development. Prior to beginning her graduate studies, she served as a
program leader for an academically-oriented afterschool program in lowincome communities of Southern California. Her afterschool program
experiences were critical in her recognizing the educational opportunities
and challenges present during the out-of-school time hours. Her research
examines developmental outcomes associated with out-of-school programs
and experiences, with particular focus on the psychological and behavioral
characteristics of youth that influence these outcomes. Under the
mentorship of Dr. Vandell, Ms. Kataoka has conducted several out-of-school
studies throughout her graduate student career and has presented her
research at numerous education and child and adolescent development
conferences. She holds an MA in Education from the University of
California, Irvine and a BA in Liberal Arts from Soka University. She is
currently in the process of completing her dissertation.
Issue 9, May 2015
Dr. Helen Janc Malone
(OST SIG Chair)
Dr. Valerie Futch
(Program Chair)
Dr. Myriam Baker
Dr. Corey Bower
(Social Media Editor)
Dr. Tom Akiva
(Website Editor)
Dear members,
We welcome you to an
new series by the OST
designed to connect yo
u to each
other and to the emerg
ing and
groundbreaking schola
rship in
the out-of-school time
field. We
hope the series will in
you to new ideas, conc
epts, and
spark a connection in
With warm regards,
The officers of the OST