Date of Award

Spring 5-10-2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Gabriel P. Kuperminc

Second Advisor

Lisa Armistead

Third Advisor

Wing Yi Chan


This study sought to better understand the process of how youth development programs work by examining psychological need satisfaction among youth that participated in a weekly after school program, Cool Girls, Inc. The sample included 216 pre and early adolescent females participating in Cool Girls Club at sites in Atlanta, GA. It was hypothesized that Cool Girls participants would experience support for the basic psychological needs of autonomy, competence and relatedness, and such need satisfaction would be associated with youth well-being. Engagement emerged as an important component of participation associated with perceived need satisfaction such that participants that reported being highly engaged experienced perceived need satisfaction. However, perceived need satisfaction was not associated with outcomes of well-being. Implications for future research are discussed.