Publication Date

2001

Abstract

This study investigated at-risk girls in 7th and 8th grades in an under-resourced school in Phoenix, Arizona. The study identified 27 subjects and administered a youth questionnaire. They were chosen due to their interest in participation in a study of their attitudes toward leadership skill development. Over a six-month period, data were gathered through interviews with the adolescent, young women and their peers, teachers, and relatives, observations of the adolescent, young women in school, questionnaires, journals, and poems, and interviews with school administrators. Barriers or the potential emergence of barriers to achieve leadership skills were examined. In addition, factors that seem to mitigate against the influence of those barriers were explored. Analysis of the data indicates a strong ability to articulate leadership skills and positive attitudes toward their development in classes, after-school activities, behavior at home, and work. Group inter-connectedness, focusing on future goals, and family support were identified as factors which could help these girls cope with current and future barriers to success.

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