Not just a walk in the park: efficacy to effectiveness for after school programs in communities of concentrated urban poverty

Adm Policy Ment Health. 2013 Sep;40(5):406-18. doi: 10.1007/s10488-012-0432-x.


This study examined a model for mental health consultation, training and support designed to enhance the benefits of publicly-funded recreational after-school programs in communities of concentrated urban poverty for children's academic, social, and behavioral functioning. We assessed children's mental health needs and examined the feasibility and impact of intervention on program quality and children's psychosocial outcomes in three after-school sites (n = 15 staff, 89 children), compared to three demographically-matched sites that received no intervention (n = 12 staff, 38 children). Findings revealed high staff satisfaction and feasibility of intervention, and modest improvements in observed program quality and staff-reported children's outcomes. Data are considered with a public health lens of mental health promotion for children in urban poverty.

Publication types

  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child Care / methods*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Community Mental Health Services / methods
  • Evidence-Based Practice / methods
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Health Promotion / methods*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Health*
  • Needs Assessment
  • Poverty
  • Recreation
  • Referral and Consultation
  • Schools
  • Teaching / methods*
  • Urban Population
  • Young Adult