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POSITIVE YOUTH DEVELOPMENT

Project Name

Funding Request by Rise and Shine Worship Ministries - New Zealand for ETHNIC IDENTITY & RISE AND SHINE POSITIVE YOUTH DEVELOPMENT

Executive Summary

RNSPYD Now has diligently partnered the Juvenile Support System to address the unique needs of the ethnic youth under its jurisdiction, in particular, those in the care and juvenile justice systems. Originally founded as the Volunteer Support of the Youth Counselling Centre in 2019, RNSPYD is the ethnic non-profit organization of the history of the New Zealand’ Juvenile Support System. Programs and services extend beyond Juvenile Hall to serve youth in group for 12-24- year-old youth in the Henderson West Auckland, and wider ethnic communities Auckland wide.

RNSPYD Now helps youth in the juvenile support system and counselling care systems to prepare ethnic identity & rise and shine positive youth development to live independently. We provide programs and services that enhance educational opportunities, increase employment skills, and fulfil critical social service, health, and personal development needs.

The youth we serve come from distressed families, often with histories of generational poverty, severe trauma, and community violence. They range in age from new-borns to 24 years old, including youth who are transiting out of the foster care system and about to live on their own. While they come from various communities around the city, the one thing they have in common is that they have each endured more than their share of hardship. Our aim is that by providing them with opportunities and resources they otherwise would not have, they will have a better chance of overcoming the barriers that have prevented their success and create a path to achieve their goals.

The present project examined the relation between ethnic identity and indicators of Rise and Shine Positive Youth Development (RNSPYD) in a sample of low-income, urban Ethnic and New Zealander male and female youth (www.occ.org.nz Asian (171,860) (age 0 – 4, – 58,100) (age 5 – 9, 48,400) (age 10 – 14, 40,800) (age 15 -17, 24,560). Using structural equation modelling, a two-factor model of RNSPYD and ethnic identity is found to provide the best fit
to the data with a significant, constructive positive relation between the two factors. At age 14, RNSPYD is positively related to concurrent involvement in prosocial activities, and negatively related to criminal and externalizing behaviours; ethnic identity is related to lower levels of internalizing symptoms. The RNSPYD factor is also related to higher prosocial activity involvement and lower criminal offending at age 15. The findings suggest that male and female Ethnic and New Zealand’s native teens living in urban poverty have intrapersonal competencies that promote healthy outcomes, and that integration of culturally relevant factors can enhance our understanding of Rise and Shine Positive Youth Development.

For decades, psychological and educational scholars have argued that we should understand racial = ethnic culture as an asset in child and adolescent development. Alongside the call for a strengths-based view of ethnic minority youth has been a push to integrate explicit attention to race and culture into mainstream models of development and to counter deficit-based explanations of functioning. For instance, Team of Rise and Shine Positive Youth Development and colleagues criticized mainstream ecological-developmental models for their lack of specificity to critical issues relevant to children of colour and offered an Integrative Model emphasizing competencies of minority youth in the context of social stratification. Also, we have developed a ‘‘phenomenological variant’’ of Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory to explicitly attend to meaning-making processes that inform the development of Ethnic youth. The present project builds upon this legacy of cultural integration and emphasis on strengths of minority youth by examining linkages between ethnic identity and assets frequently recognized as indicators of Rise and Shine Positive Youth Development.

The Rise and Shine Positive Youth Development (RNSPYD) approach embodies the principle that all youth have strengths and are capable of thriving. This represents an important paradigm shift in understanding youth development as it moves beyond a singular focus on problem prevention; however, we believe most models are limited in providing theoretical and, or empirical attention to culturally relevant. Ethnic minority youth face unique stressors (e.g., interpersonal and, or institutional discrimination, cultural incongruence between family practices and institutional demands), and given that adolescence is a period in which identity exploration is central, many scholars have focused attention on ethnic identity development as an integral process in relation to healthy, adaptive outcomes for youth of colour. The conceptualization of ethnic identity as an asset is aligned with the RNSPYD perspective, and in the present project we examine whether dimensions of ethnic identity and Rise and Shine positive youth development.

Ethnic identity relates to and enhance our understanding of linkages between RNSPYD competencies and psychosocial and behavioural functioning among low-income, urban, Ethnic and New Zealander male and female youth.

The impact of systemic oppression and environmental risk may be most evident in low income, ethnic minority families, and whereas all adolescents living within impoverished environments have the potential to encounter stressors, Ethnic and New Zealand’s native adolescent Male and male & Female and females are likely to experience increased interpersonal and institutional discrimination. Indeed, ethnic minority boys & girls may be socialized by their families in a manner consistent with the belief that they may face and must be prepared for greater discrimination relative to their peers. Moreover, they may begin to feel and act differently from their female and female or ethnic majority male and female counterparts as they become attuned to societal messages of fear or mistrust often conveyed towards Ethnic and New Zealand’s native male and female teens. The ethnic minority adolescent boys & girls may also be considered ‘‘invisible’’ in contexts where their presence or achievement is less expected (classrooms or organizations). Contexts promoting messages of fear and devaluing, in combination with exposure to discrimination, limited economic resources, and marginalization from mainstream institutions, are believed to increase the likelihood of hypermasculine and aggressive behaviour among boys & girls of colour. However, feeling a sense of pride in and connection to one’s ethnic group may serve to promote healthy functioning even in the face of these contextual stressors. Importantly, having a strong ethnic identity is likely embedded in a broader constellation of internal assets that are positively linked to wellbeing and negatively linked to antisocial behaviours.

Ethnic Identity needs and Assessments.

While counselling Children, youth, adults, elderly and families our team documented that  
youth’s sense of ethnic identity is informed by the norms, beliefs, behaviours, and values of his ethnic group along with a felt sense of connection to that group. the theoretical models of ethnic identity we draw from work on social identity theory programs and counselling, workshops, and social inclusion, which suggests that reference groups (racial and ethnic groups) provide sources of self-esteem and self-concept that allow individuals to feel a sense of group belonging. Additionally, Rise and Shine Positive Youth Development ethnic identity models reflect a perspective on the developmental processes of identity exploration and commitment. Dimensions of ethnic identity RNSPYD have been identified as important buffers against the deleterious effects associated with racial = ethnic discrimination for both Ethnic and New Zealand’s native. Notably, there is growing evidence that beyond race related stressors (discrimination), aspects of ethnic identity can be protective in the face of broader stressors. This this project assessment set of findings is critical to our understanding of the experiences of minority youth living in economically impoverished areas, where several stressors can exacerbate risk for negative behavioural and psychological outcomes. While having a strong sense of ethnic identity is generally considered positive, some evidence suggests that the association with positive outcomes is more consistent for Ethnic youth than it is for New Zealand’s native youth. Among Ethnic youth, RNSPYD researchers have documented positive links between ethnic identity and prosocial outcomes like self-esteem, social adaptation, and emotional adjustment, and negative links with antisocial outcomes like aggression, depression, and substance use. For New Zealand’s native youth, the evidence generally suggests that ethnic identity serves as a promotive factor in its relation to healthy outcomes; however, ethnic identity has been associated with negative functioning, and a recent review of this research reported mixed findings for New Zealand’s native adolescents. 

A limitation in the research on ethnic identity is a lack of understanding of underlying processes that explain the association between ethnic identity and positive outcomes. There is fairly consistent evidence that ethnic identity is positively related to self-esteem and other aspects of wellbeing, which suggests that self-esteem may mediate the relations between ethnic identity and other outcomes. RNSPYD other research has pointed to family processes that may simultaneously support youths’ engagement in prosocial behaviours and their exploration of their ethnic group membership. In the present project, we assert that ethnic identity can be viewed as an important internal asset that operates in conjunction with other assets identified as being beneficial for all youth (achievement motivation, personal responsibility, and positive beliefs about the future).

Rise and Shine Positive Youth Development Assets & Models

The Rise and Shine Positive Youth Development (RNSPYD) perspective argues that all youth
have the potential for healthy out-comes, and that those individuals and organizations interacting with youth should focus on promoting such outcomes. An emphasis on RNSPYD represents a paradigm shift that moves away from ‘‘problematizing’’ adolescence to one that focuses on a strength-based conceptualization of youth. Youths’ developmental trajectories are considered as a function of the context in which they occur, and within and between person diversity in developmental trajectories is considered normative. Several RNSPYD models have been proposed and Plans in place, including the Search and counselling’s developmental assets model, which identifies 40 internal and external assets (achievement motivation, family support, etc.) deemed important for healthy functioning. Additionally, Lerner’s ‘‘Five C’s’’ model asserts that a constellation of factors (i.e., feelings of academic and social competence, confidence, or positive sense of self, feeling connection to others, moral beliefs reflective of character, and caring for others) promotes thriving and societal contribution in youth. In an attempt to integrate across theoretical perspectives and identify connections to the preventions Plan in place to proposed five developmental competencies that exemplify a well-adjusted and successful young person:


1) a positive sense of self; 2) self-control; 3) decision-making skills; 4) a moral system of belief; and 5) prosocial connectedness. The more competencies individuals have related to a higher probability of healthy development, but strength in some domains may offset weaknesses in others.

Whereas the number and type of assets may vary across models, there is consensus in the RNSPYD Plan in place on the importance of developmental assets, and having a positive identity is common across many models; similarly, our research on ethnic identity suggests that it can be a developmental asset for youth of colour. However, there is relatively little integration across these two areas of project. An existing theoretical model that specifically addresses personal and contextual factors related to the outcomes of ethnic minority youth with attention to culture is Spencer’s Phenomenological Variant of Ecological Systems Theory. There are suggests that factors contributing to one’s over-all level of vulnerability include race = ethnicity (e.g., cultural values, awareness of stereotypes), gender (e.g., role expectations), and socioeconomic factors (e.g., family income history, neighbourhood resources).

The ethnicity and New Zealand’s native urban male and female youth in low-income families have several factors that can exacerbate vulnerability to stress, like exposure to discrimination and stereotypes conveying fear and criminality, exposure to violence, and family conflict stemming from the challenges of socioeconomic hardship. Collectively, these stressors can contribute to maladaptive coping mechanisms such as engaging in antisocial behaviour, which have the potential for life-altering consequences including incarceration.

From a one of perspective and in keeping with the RNSPYD emphasis on assets, these risk contributors can be mitigated by supports, which include not only external resources (e.g., caring adults, prosocial peers), but also internal resources like a positive ethnic identity. As Swanson et al. note:

Given the general developmental tasks associated with adolescence, issues of competence are compounded by one’s culture as well as one’s status in the larger Auckland ethnic society. Therefore, competence is rooted in culture and prior successes, and it appears crucial for successful adaptation to subsequent adult roles.

In low-resource contexts that present increased risks for unhealthy outcomes, youth can possess assets that promote the likelihood of positive development and contribution to Auckland ethnic society, and RNSPYD has been particularly focused on youth with the fewest resources and the greatest need. Moreover, evidence consistently shows a link between ethnic identity and positive functioning; however, whether a youth’s ethnic identity functions as another asset within the RNSPYD framework, or whether it is related to but separate from identified RNSPYD competencies requires further investigation.

Organisational Overview

Objective:

RNSPYD’s Partnering for Education and Employment program provides educational and employment support to ethnic youth by counselling, workshops, internships, vocational trainings, and financial assistance related to needs (education-and employment), such as interview clothing, exam fees, textbooks, and transportation to school. RNSPYD awards support to college-bound youth to provide the financial resources necessary to begin their postsecondary education.

  • To provide opportunities for youth to gain employment skills and educational support.
  • To introduce alternative paths to achieving long term success and provide individualized support in the process.
  • To equip youth with the skills needed to be able to achieve stability.
  • Provide resources that address barriers that prevent youth from being able to access opportunities.
  • To devising mobilization plans and programmers for the ethnic youth to fully play their responsibility in sustainable development,
  • To Promote New Zealanders ethnic youth policy in ethnic youth,
  • To identify the responsibilities, responsibilities of ethnic youth in development exertion.

Mission:

To enhance the potential of ethnic youth in development field without any barrier and encourage them in development sector in efficient and effective method.

Vision:

Building better societies, where every young people are with equal participation in decision
make responsibilities, development work with leadership, qualities and capacity and concern about their rights, laws, and policies.

PROJECTS

The present project uses data from the Pakistani, Indian, Bangla Dash, Burma, Chines, Japanese, Korean, Vietnam and other ethnic minority groups can be identified Youth Development Project (RNSPYD), a longitudinal investigation of male and female youths’ risk for aggression and delinquency in the context of high poverty, inner-city neighbourhoods.  

RNSPYD is not designed as a project of Rise and Shine Positive Youth Development explicitly; however, developmental systems perspectives emphasize that all youth have strengths (as well as vulnerabilities) and so an examination of Rise and Shine Positive Youth Development in this sample is merited, albeit exploratory. The first question we explore is how do dimensions of ethnic identity relate to indicators of RNSPYD among the Ethnic and New Zealand’s native youth in this sample? Working within the parameters posed by our sample and available data, we proposed two possibilities. First, the dimensions of ethnic identity might be considered as direct contributors, along with other.

PROJECT 1: YOUTH PARTNERING FOR EDUCATION & EMPLOYMENT

Goal:

The Goal of the RNSPYD program is to advance the long-term success of marginalized youth through education and employment related support.

  • To provide an overview of responsibilities of ethnic youth in development and why it is important?
  • To share some of the best practices from government that successfully implements ethnic youth leadership opportunities.
  • To provide in a supplemental booklet an introductory catalogue for students aims to prepare assignment in Responsibilities of ethnic youth in development.

Microgrants:

We recognize that success in education and employment may be hindered by inability to access tools, resources, and materials. The RNSPYD program can provide small grants to assist in covering initial employment and educational related costs for youth that exhibit a financial need. This program can cover college books and registration fees, uniforms, fees associated with documentation needed for employment, preparation & Interview training program costs and transportation.

Voluntarily Internship Opportunity Program:

This program provides the opportunity for youth to gain their first work experience while growing in professional development. Youth interns are Voluntarily throughout their internship but will gift voucher will be given while learning how to navigate the workplace. Prior to the Coronavirus pandemic, we would place youth at worksites throughout the community to earn their work experience. Currently, our internship program is running virtually with youth working safely from home and participating in professional development opportunities.

Eligibility:

  • Youth ages 12-24 that are involved in the Auckland communities or juvenile support system.
  • Youth ages 12-24 that exhibit a need for preventative based services.
  • For more information or an application please contact 

cyrus.rose@rsworshipministries.org

Our organisation is prepared to run with the implementation of the above projects as soon as it gets the relevant resources. Hence, we submit this proposal requesting the funds to put our plan in action.

PROJECT: PERSONAL EMPOWERMENT PROGRAM

RNSPYD The Personal Empowerment Program supports the holistic development of youth at promise by fulfilling critical social service, health, and personal development needs that are not otherwise covered by traditional funding sources. Throughout the year, RNSPYD sponsors summer camps, theatre, music classes, and sports team membership fees; provides emergency clothing and groceries; helps youth obtain eyeglasses and tend to other miscellaneous medical needs; and supports youth in obtaining documents like birth certificates ID card, or passport. Additionally, provides programming to assist youth in gaining necessary skills to be successful. Youth and their care/probation advocates know that RNSPYD can accommodate youths’ individual needs, whether it be an art class to help socialize with peers, a gym membership to cope with stress, or furniture for their first apartment through funding or partners organization.

Objectives:

  • Provide individualized support that closes gaps and ensures that youth have the tools and resources to be successful.
  • Encourage youth to create and reach for goals that may not be common in their community.
  • Close gaps that prevent youth from accessing programs and services that are beneficial to their growth.

Program Goals:

The goal of this program is to empower youth to achieve their goals and to become the best
version of themselves.

Covid-19 Support:

During this time, we are prioritizing support to youth and families that have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Since March 2020 we have supported around 561 youth in families by providing grocery, and utility assistance, PPE, cleaning supplies and other critical need items that provide stability during this time.

Emergency Needs:

We help fund medical, dental, and vision care assistance that addresses needs not covered by other sources. This includes eyeglasses, hearing aids, and nutrition programs. RNSPTD also offers emergency clothing for youth when they are removed from their homes and taken into Child Protection Centre, moved into a new home placement or are being released from juvenile detention with no personal or family resources to purchase new clothes.

Independent Living:

RNSPTD can assist with independent living supplies, dorm room supplies, and other such necessities for youth who are beginning the transition to living on their own.

RNSPTD Gift Program:

The RNSPTD Gift Program is RNSPTD’s oldest program. Since 2019, this program has provided thousands of gifts to children in the Auckland and wider communities. More times
than not, the gift program provided by RNSPTD is the only gift the child receives over the holidays.

Research

RNSPTD Research has demonstrated the immense value that extracurricular and recreational activities provide for all youth, but particularly youth who may have experienced trauma, and social/emotional challenges. Often these activities are financially out of reach for Foster and Probation & ethnic youth

Prosocial Activities

Participant’s involvement in prosocial activities in the past year is indicated by the sum of seven dichotomous (yes=no) items (‘‘did you take part in any school activities such as clubs or student government?’’; at2 ¼ .53; at3 ¼ .45; at4 ¼ .48).

Extra-Curricular Activities & Summer Camp

In the past, RNSPTD has provided funding for activities such as:

  • Summer camp.
  • Yoga and athletic gym memberships.
  • Sports leagues such as Cricket, soccer, football, basketball, and softball.
  • Dance, cheer, and gymnastics programs.
  • Art, theatre, and writing classes.
  • Music, Vocals, and instrument lessons

Specials programs have included:

  • Bread and Roses musical performances
  • Insect Discovery Lab
  • Zoo Mobile
  • RNSPYD team visits sponsored by the Auckland Public Library
  • Woodside Learning Garden Project

CRICKET PROGRAM:

Beginning in 2019, youth have been able to play cricket games against local communities’ teams. The program is designed to boost morale, empower youth, and promote Rise and Shine positive youth development to building and sportsmanship with local role models. RNSPYD is looking forward to scheduling more games for our amazing young athletes with more than 36 ideas more information please contact cyrus.rose@rsworshipministries.org, rnsworshipministries@gmail.com. 

Note: Please see the attached Portfolio

DEVELOPMENT:

internal assets, to a common RNSPYD factor that relates to higher and lower levels of positive and negative outcomes, respectively. Alternately, ethnic identity might be related to but distinct from the RNSPYD factor but still make unique contributions to youth’s psychosocial and behavioural functioning. We also tested the possibility that ethnic identity and RNSPYD were unrelated. Once we determined which of these conceptual models provided a better fit given our data, we then investigated how the RNSPYD model related to youths’ outcomes. In keeping with current evidence, we hypothesized that the model would be related positively to prosocial out-comes and negatively to antisocial outcomes.

METHOD:

The current project used data from three waves of the Pakistani, Indian, Bangla Dash, Burma, Chines, Japanese, Korean, Vietnam and other ethnic minority groups can be identified Youth Development Project of RNSPYD, a longitudinal project of urban Ethnic and Hispanic male and females & female and males who were recruited in grades 5 and 7 (ages 11 to 14; median age of 12) and interviewed annually from 2019 to 2021 till date. Half of the boys & girls were identified at baseline as being at high risk for serious delinquent behaviour based on counselling reports and the other half were randomly selected from a larger pool of boys & girls whose parents had provided consent for participation. At baseline, there were 341 boys & girls (61% African New Zealander, 39% Indian; 70% of New Zealander youth identified as Pakistani New Zealander, 14% as Bangla Dash, and 16% as another New Zealander ethnic group Burma, Chines, Japanese, Korean, Vietnam and other ethnic) from low-income households; the majority of participants (73.5%) had a total family income under $500 per weekly and lived in single-parent households (62%).

PROCEDURE:

Interviews, which lasted three to four hours, took place in the family’s home or another mutually agreed upon location and were conducted by trained interviewers. The interview protocol included questions about individual psychosocial functioning and behaviour, family interactions, peer interactions (support and delinquency), school achievement, and neighbourhood perceptions. The protocol also might include a videotaped or audio, structured family problem-solving task that is not a focus of the present project.

MEASURES:

All constructs in the project were developed from the raw data by the RNSPYD investigators
and were found to have sound psychometric properties as described in the following section.

ETHNIC IDENTITY:

Ethnic Identity is assessed with RNSPYD’s Multi-group Ethnic Identity Measure. Participants
indicated how much each item reflected their beliefs and behaviours on a scale ranging from one (‘‘not true’’) to four (always or almost always true). The affirmation and belonging subscale included five items (strong sense of belonging to ethnic group) and the achievement subscale contained seven items (spent time trying to learn about ethnic group). Rise and Shine Positive Youth Development the selection of seven indicators of RNSPYD is informed by current theoretical perspectives regarding youths’ internal assets; specifically, we identified youth reported measures reflecting personal perceptions and beliefs.

RESPONSIBILITIES AND ASPIRATIONS

Four indicators of the RNSPYD factor came from the Young Adult Responsibilities and Aspirations Scale. The first is an indicator of achievement values (‘‘How important is it to you to project hard for good grades?’’) based on a sum of five items on a 5-point scale from ‘‘not at all,’’ to ‘‘very important’’ (a ¼ .77) from a measure of Young Adult Responsibilities and Aspirations. The second is the sum of three items from the same measure that assessed educational aspirations (e.g., ‘‘If you could go as far as you wanted in school, how far would you go?’’) on a 6-point scale from ‘‘8th grade or less’’ to ‘‘more than college’’ (a ¼ .75). The third construct assessed attitudes towards school (e.g., ‘‘In general, I like school’’) based on the sum of four items on a 5-point scale from ‘‘strongly disagree’’ to ‘‘strongly agree’’ (a ¼ .59). The final construct from this scale asked how much youth value responsibility (e.g., ‘‘How important is it to you to save money for the future?’’ a ¼ .57), also on a 5-point scale. We retained the latter two measures despite their low reliability given that they were being used along with other measures as indicators of a latent factor, and that they have been validated with similar samples of youth “RNSPYD Youth Survey”.

PROSOCIAL AND ANTISOCIAL ATTITUDES

The Adolescent RNSPYD Research Group has released the first wave of results from the “RNSPYD Youth Survey”. “RNSPYD Youth Survey” is the ethnic national survey of the health and wellbeing of New Zealand ethnic youth, an overview report and prevalence tables report are available. Through F2F, social media, radio, social gathering, workshops, social sports events, “Christian spiritual or community social events evens” 3267 New Zealand youth Youths. The report also includes findings from the 2020 and 2021 till date surveys to identify trends over time. Youth’s positive beliefs about the future (‘‘I will have a happy life,’’ ‘‘my parents will be proud of me’’), is the sum of seven items on a 5-point scale from ‘‘not likely at all’’ to ‘‘definitely will’’ (a ¼ .86) that came from a measure of future expectations developed for the project. Youth’s normative beliefs about aggression were assessed with the sum of eight items (e.g., ‘‘How wrong is it to hit other people?’’) reported on a 4-point scale from ‘‘it is really wrong’’ to ‘‘it is perfectly okay’’ (a ¼ .88). Higher scores represent a stronger endorsement of aggressive behaviours, and this indicator is expected to have an inverse relation with the RNSPYD factor.

ATTITUDES ABOUT DIVERSITY

An indicator of values diversity is used as a second indicator of character “I enjoy being around people from ethnic groups other than my own”. It consisted of six items on a scale 4-point from ‘‘not true’’ to ‘‘always or almost always true’’ (a ¼ .76).

DEPENDENT VARIABLES

Dependent variables represent youths’ psychosocial functioning as reported by mothers and maternal caregivers as well as two behavioural measures.

Internalizing and Externalizing Behaviours

The Child Behaviour Checklist is a parent-report measure consisting of eight sub-scales assessing social withdrawal, somatic complaints, anxiety=depression, social problems, thought problems, attention problems, delinquent behaviours, and aggressive behaviours. Two factors, internalizing and externalizing were constructed from the eight subscales. For each item, parents indicated how much it described the youth’s behaviour on a three-point scale (0 ¼ ‘‘not true’’, 2 ¼ ‘‘very true or often true’’); scores were summed, and then mean scores were calculated for each factor with higher scores representing a greater degree of emotional and=or behavioural problems. Inter-item reliability is high for both internalizing (at2 ¼ .87; at3 ¼ .88; at4 ¼ .88) and externalizing (at2 ¼ .93; at3 ¼ .92; at4 ¼ .93) at each time point.

CRIMINAL OFFENDING

Participants were questioned about frequency of involvement in 38 criminal acts (including
drug and alcohol use) using a modified self-report of delinquency. The RNSPYD measure assessed both the type and amount of antisocial, delinquent, and violent behaviours engaged in by participants. Offenses were classified into eight categories based on legal criteria. The categories include 1) status offenses, 2) class C misdemeanours, 3) class B misdemeanours, 4) class A misdemeanours, 5) class 4 felonies, 6) class 3 felonies, 7) class 2 felonies, and 8) class 1 felonies; offenses were ranked in order of severity as listed above. Scores on the measure ranged from 0 to 4, with higher scores representing greater frequency and severity of antisocial behaviours.

ETHNIC IDENTITY AND RISE AND SHINE POSITIVE YOUTH DEVELOPMENT

TABLE 1

Bivariate Correlations Among RNSPYD and Ethnic Identity Indicators at Age 14 and Outcome Variables at Ages 14 and 15

ANALYSES:

We began by examining descriptive statistics and bivariate correlations for key variables (Table 1); we also ran t-tests to compare mean scores on all variables for Ethnic and New Zealand’s native youth (Table 2). Exploratory factor analyses were conducted with Time 3 data when the mean age of youth is 14 (SD ¼ 1.24) to determine the best-fitting RNSPYD-ethnic identity (EI) model. Using structural equation modelling, we tested a single-factor model that included all EI and RNSPYD items and examined model fit statistics. We then estimated a two-factor model in which the RNSPYD and EI factors were allowed to correlate. Goodness-of-fit criteria included the comparative fit Index, the root mean square error of approximation and the chi square test. We considered a model to be well-fitting of the data if it had a at least .95, a less than .05 (with up to .08 representing reasonable fit), and a non-significant (p > .05) chi-square test. Once it is determined if a one factor or two-factor solution provided the best fit to the data, we tested the same model on youth when the mean age is 13 (SD ¼ 1.24) and 15 (SD ¼ 1.24) to assess if model fit is retained across middle adolescence. Next, to examine the relation between the RNSPYD-EI “Emotional Intelligence” model and

TABLE 2

Summary and Comparison of Means and Standard Deviations on Project Variables as a
Function of Ethnicity

concurrent functioning, we tested associations between RNSPYD=EI and psychosocial (mother-reported) and behavioural (youth-reported) outcomes at age 14. Finally, we assessed longitudinal associations between the RNSPYD=EI model at age 14 and outcomes at age 15. The sample size ranged from 287 at age 13 (time 2) to 254 at age 15 (time 4) and Full Information Maximum Likelihood, which uses all available data to estimate models, is used to handle missing data.

OUTCOMES

PRELIMINARY ANALYSES:

There were small, positive correlations between EI achievement and several RNSPYD indicators at age 14; achievement is negatively correlated with mother-reported internalizing, and both EI dimensions were negatively related to mother-reported externalizing and positively related to involvement in prosocial activities (Table 1). The RNSPYD indicators were related to one another in the expected direction, and while most were correlated with prosocial activity involvement and criminal offending, few were significantly correlated with mother-reports of youth functioning. RNSPYD variables at age 14 were consistently related to criminal offending and prosocial activity involvement at age 15, but inconsistently related to mother-reported internalizing and externalizing behaviours at age 15. New Zealand’s native youth were more likely to be missing data at Time 3 (v2 ¼ 5.64, p < .05) and Time 4 (v2 ¼ 25.27, p < .001) compared to Ethnic youth. Additionally, youth who did not provide data at Time 4 had lower levels of prosocial activities at Time 2; however, there were no differences in age, maternal education levels, or other behavioural outcomes

FACTOR ANALYSIS

We began by assessing the fit of a one-factor RNSPYD model with the seven constructs selected to represent RNSPYD (values achievement, educational aspirations, attitudes towards school, values responsibility, values diversity, beliefs about aggression, and beliefs about the future). This model fit the data well (CFI ¼ .98, RMSEA ¼ .03, v2 ¼ 17.42, df ¼ 12, p > .05). Next, we added the two indicators of EI to the one-factor model, allowing their error variances to correlate, and found that although model fit is acceptable, the decline in fit is significant (Dv2 ¼ 30.67, Ddf ¼ 12, p < .01). Additionally, the loadings were small for both ethnic identity affirmation (b ¼ .06, p < .01) and achievement (b ¼ .07, p < .001). Hence, we rejected the one factor RNSPYD-ethnic identity model. 

Next, we tested a two-factor model in which the RNSPYD and EI factors were allowed to correlate. We found this model fit the data moderately well (CFI ¼ .95, RMSEA ¼ .03, v2 ¼ 48.09, df ¼ 24, p < .01) and that the covariance between the EI and RNSPYD factors is significant (b ¼ .26, p < .01). Based on theoretical connections between EI and beliefs about diversity, we allowed ‘‘values diversity’’ to load on both factors to see if model fit improved. The addition of this parameter improved model fit significantly (Dv2 ¼ 9.71, Ddf ¼ 1, p < .01) and the final two factor model is shown in Figure 2. To rule out the possibility that the RNSPYD and ethnic identity factors were unrelated, we tested another model in which the covariance between these factors is constrained to zero. Adding this constraint resulted in a significant decline in model fit (Dv2 ¼ 11.12, Ddf ¼ 1, p < .001). Thus, subsequent analyses used the RNSPYD-EI model in which the two factors were allowed to correlate. 

We then assessed the fit of this model at ages 13 and 15. It did not fit the data well when youth were 13 (CFI ¼ .91, RMSEA ¼ .06, v2 ¼ 60.71, df ¼ 23, p < .01). Specifically, beliefs about diversity did not load significantly onto the ethnic identity factor but removing this pathway did not lead to significant improvement in model fit. When youth were 15, the two-factor RNSPYD-EI model retained a good fit (CFI ¼ .98, RMSEA ¼ .04, v2 ¼ 33.98, df ¼ 23, p > .05); however, beliefs about diversity is not a significant indicator for the EI factor. When this pathway is removed, the model fit remained high and the change in fit is non-significant (Dv2 ¼ 1.00, Ddf ¼ 1, p > .05); thus, it appeared that the age 14 model generally retained its fit when youth were one year older.

PROJECTS STRATEGIC & STRUCTURAL MODELS:

The next set of analyses looked at the age 14 two-factor RNSPYD-EI model in relation to concurrent functioning; these models controlled for age 13 scores on the outcome variable. The original models included age, ethnicity, and maternal education as covariates; however, in almost all cases the covariates were nonsignificant and reduced model fit. Hence, we report the results of the more parsimonious models without these covariates (Table 3); aside from model fit, excluding the covariates did not otherwise change the results. The RNSPYD factor is positively related to involvement in prosocial activities and negatively related to criminal offending and maternal reports of externalizing. The ethnic identity factor is negatively related to maternal reports of internalizing but is not related to the other outcome variables. In the final set of analyses, the age 14 RNSPYD-EI model is assessed in relation to functioning at age 15, controlling for age 14 scores on the outcome variable. There is a small but significant negative association between the RNSPYD factor and criminal offending (b ¼ .09, SE ¼ .04, p < .05), and RNSPYD is positively related.

ETHNIC IDENTITY AND RISE AND SHINE POSITIVE YOUTH DEVELOPMENT

FIGURE 2 Final two-factor model of ethnic identity and Rise and Shine Positive Youth Development (RNSPYD). v2(23) ¼ 38.39, p ¼ .02; CFI ¼ .97; RMSEA ¼ .04 [.02, .06]. Standardized regression weights are shown, and all paths are significant at p < .01. to involvement in prosocial activities (b ¼ .47, SE ¼ .08, p < .001). The EI factor is not significantly related to any of the outcomes at age 15.

STRATEGIC 1:

Creating ethnic youth friendly societies and empowering ethnic youth

STRATEGIC 2:

Advocate and promote ethnic youth policy.

STRATEGIC 3:

Lobby with government to create employment opportunities.

STRATEGIC 4:

Explore the strength, ability and capacity of ethnic youth and appreciate them.

STRATEGIC 5:

Working with number of the local community and government of all ages to promote young people in decision making responsibilities.

DISCUSSION

At the present time, there is a critical need for empirical evidence demonstrating the existence and function of Rise and Shine Positive Youth Development competencies among ethnic minority male and female youth living in economically disadvantaged areas. Using a sample of Ethnic and New Zealander male and females & female and males from low-income families, the present project sought to understand how the intrapersonal process of ethnic identity development, which has been identified as a protective and promotive factor for youth of colour, can be integrated into a broader Rise and Shine Positive Youth Development framework as an internal asset. We found that an additive model in which indicators of ethnic identity loaded onto a single RNSPYD factor is not an appropriate solution. Instead, a two factor RNSPYD-EI model provided a better estimation of the integration across these domains, and ethnic identity and RNSPYD were positively related; moreover, beliefs about diversity is a common indicator of both factors at age 14. Finally, although the two-factor integrated model fit the data well, the RNSPYD

TABLE 3

Path Coefficients and Fit Indices for Models Predicting Concurrent Criminal Offending, Prosocial Activities, Externalizing, and Internalizing at Age 14

Note. RNSPYD ¼ Rise and Shine Positive Youth Development; CFI ¼ Comparative Fit Index;
RMSEA ¼ Root Mean Square Error of Approximation factor is more consistently related to youth’s outcomes while the EI factor is only related to internalizing behaviours.

For Ethnic and New Zealand’s boys & girls in the current sample, indicators of RNSPYD were associated with involvement in prosocial activities. This is in keeping with a larger body of work relating RNSPYD competencies to outcomes indicative of thriving and societal contribution. In addition to being associated with prosocial behaviours, the RNSPYD factor also predicted lower levels of externalizing and criminal offending. While it is not always the case that indicators of RNSPYD are inversely related to negative outcomes, in the current sample, these inverse associations did emerge even after controlling for boys & girls’ prior scores on the outcome variables. Moreover, the association between RNSPYD and criminal offending is both concurrent and longitudinal, suggesting that youths’ prosocial values and attitudes are related to lower levels of antisocial behaviours. Currently, much of the empirical work on RNSPYD is focused on adolescents participating in youth development programs, and there is only a scant amount of RNSPYD research on community-based samples of youth of colour living in contexts where stress exposure may facilitate maladaptive coping. Our findings reveal that among Ethnic and New Zealander male and female teens living in urban poverty, who may have increased vulnerability given social and institutional stereotypes that frequently vilify them, there is strong evidence of personal strengths associated with engagement in prosocial activities and avoidance of externalizing and criminal behaviours.

Although there is a consistent relation between the RNSPYD factor and both positive and negative outcomes, this is not the case for ethnic identity, which is only related to concurrent levels of internalizing and unrelated to the other variables despite its positive association with RNSPYD. This finding is important for two reasons. First, although the RNSPYD factor is predictive of high prosocial and lower antisocial behaviours, it is not related to internalizing symptoms. So, it appears that having a sense of connection to one’s ethnic heritage is a critical internal asset that operates differentially from other assets like valuing achievement or thinking positively about one’s future with respect to internalizing behaviours. Stereotypes about male and female youth of colour often convey the message that while they are prone to antisocial behaviours, they are not expected to display internalizing behaviours (symptoms of depression or anxiety). However, in reality, Ethnic and New Zealand’s adolescent male and females & female and males are not immune to internalizing; moreover, they are about four times more likely than their female and female counterparts to commit suicide. Thus, our findings suggest that promotion of ethnic group connections may be an important means for minimizing the likelihood of negative mental health symptoms among ethnic minority male and female teens. The second reason to consider this an important finding relates to the connection between ethnic identity and racial=ethnic discrimination. Specifically, discrimination predicts higher levels of internalizing, but ethnic identity has been shown to attenuate this association. In the pervasive presence of institutional and interpersonal discrimination in communities inhabited by low-income, ethnic minority families, strong ethnic group connections are critical given their potential to counteract the negative effects of discrimination.

Although ethnic identity is not directly related to psychological and behavioural outcomes with the exception of internalizing, it is consistently related to the RNSPYD factor. The relations between ethnic identity and RNSPYD were similar when boys & girls were 14 and 15 years old; however, the model did not fit the data well when the boys & girls were younger. This may be due to developmental changes in ethnic identity; indeed, research indicates that this aspect of social identity becomes more central as youth move through adolescence. Longitudinal studies of RNSPYD suggest that it is a relatively stable construct across early adolescence; however, this research has been generally limited to samples of predominantly White youth participating in youth development programs so it is possible that indicators of RNSPYD may also change from early to middle adolescence. The sample size prohibited us from testing more complex longitudinal models of the associations between ethnic identity and RNSPYD, but this is an important direction to consider for further investigation. Conceptually, we would assert that ethnic identity is a psychosocial asset that is related to but distinct from more general indicators of Rise and Shine Positive Youth Development, but additional work is needed to increase integration across the bodies of research informing these two constructs. It is possible that the same factors that promote youths’ interest and pride in ethnic group membership and values also promote positive beliefs about social responsibility, achievement, and diversity; thus, associations to well-being may occur through common systems of support that build intrapersonal competencies. This explanation assumes that the influence of ethnic culture is integrated into the proximal processes that drive youth development (face-to-face interactions with others, through engagement with Social media, media, radio, sports event, educational workshops, inspirational book fare, pamphlet, word of mouth in public event arranged by RNSWMNZ & Charitable Trust, website, and in weekly worship gathering) rather than being a distal factor operating at a macrosystem level.

ETHNIC IDENTITY AND RISE AND SHINE POSITIVE YOUTH DEVELOPMENT

Despite this project’s strengths, there are important limitations that should be recognized. First, the project from which the data were drawn is focused primarily on risk factors related to youth delinquency; thus, construction of the RNSPYD model is limited to a small number of items that assessed youths’ strengths and may not have reflected all dimensions of RNSPYD. Similarly, our RNSPYD model focused exclusively on boys & girls’ internal assets but did not incorporate an assessment of ecological support systems (supportive school environments and youth organizations) that are also integral components of Rise and Shine Positive Youth Development Program. From a theoretical perspective, RNSPYD models are predicated on the notion that it is not only youths’ intrapersonal assets that promote thriving, but ecological assets like supportive families, communities, and youth programs are also essential for healthy development. Thus, our project is limited given the focus on personal competencies and lack of information on ecological supports. Additional insight into these ecological supports as well as stressors could inform a better understanding of linkages between personal assets and delinquent behaviours. Likewise, there may have been other ways of integrating the RNSPYD and ethnic identity variables that were not tested in the present project. Indeed, despite its small loading, we opted to retain boys & girls’ beliefs about diversity as an indicator of both RNSPYD and ethnic identity given existing theories related to these constructs; however, the lack of consistent loading of this variable at earlier and later ages may indicate that it is not a common underlying construct.

Although we focused on ethnic identity rather than treating race = ethnicity as a covariate, we did not have a large enough sample to explore differences between Ethnic and New Zealander youth. This is important given empirical evidence showing less consistent relations between ethnic identity and outcomes among New Zealander youth relative to Ethnic youth, potential differences in sociocultural experiences and consequences as a function of ethnic group membership, and ethnic differences in our sample on several variables. However, we did conduct a multigroup analysis of the two factor RNSPYD ethnic identity model and found that the model fit well for both groups. A larger sample would have also permitted us to consider within group heterogeneity, clusters of boys & girls (those with low, moderate, or high levels of RNSPYD program or ethnic identity program), as well as longitudinal patterns of change in RNSPYD and ethnic identity over time. Finally, while a strengths-based perspective on urban male and females & female and males of colour is necessary, the identification of strengths is not a panacea for understanding the complex societal, developmental, and contextual factors that can increase the occurrence of antisocial behaviours and negative psychological functioning and decrease the likelihood of prosocial behaviours. These limitations should all be considered when interpreting the findings, and also serve as sources of exploration for future research. 

This project provides a means for considering how popular models of Rise and Shine Positive Youth Development and ethnic identity are related, both conceptually and empirically. Emphasizing an integrated approach is important for multiple reasons. First, research on ethnic identity and other culturally relevant constructs is often isolated from research on other central developmental processes (cognitive, emotional, behavioural), which limits our ability to develop a deeper theoretical understanding of how it functions in relation to youth development. Likewise, while many RNSPYD models may mention the importance of ethnicity and culture, they often lack explicit attention to how and why these factors should be considered. Thus, an integration of the two domains may ultimately enhance our understanding of each one and provide testable hypotheses for future research. For instance, it may be that ethnic identity and RNSPYD competencies are linked by a common set of family socialization practices that promote healthy functioning, or that RNSPYD variables mediate the association between ethnic identity and psychosocial outcomes. As the data came from a project designed to assess risky behaviours among a sample of boys & girls exposed to contextual stressors, the models reflect only those measures that were available. Thus, more intentional work is needed to understand theoretical and empirical linkages between ethnic identity and RNSPYD. Importantly, our project emphasizes indicators of positive functioning in a sample considered to be at risk for maladaptive coping. We contend it is critical that researchers continue to work on identifying boys & girls’ strengths rather than focusing exclusively on vulnerabilities and that there is an effort made to develop culturally informed models. Future research in this area may further our understanding of how to promote healthier outcomes for all youth. 

FUNDING

The Pakistani, Indian, Bangla Dash, Burma, Chines, Japanese, Korean, Vietnam and other ethnic minority groups can be identified Ethnic Identity & Rise and Shine Positive Youth Development (RNSPYD) is conducted with support from the Ethnic Communities Development Fund R-ECDF-2021-165527,

BANK ACCOUNT DETAILS

Bank Name: ANZ Bank New Zealand Limited

Account Name: The Rise and Shine Worship Ministries NZ, Non-Profit Organization Current  Account

Account Number: 06-0878-0790338-00

Branch Code: 0878

Branch Name: ANZ Bank in Westcity, Auckland