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Research and Practice: An Applied Examination of the Parental Perceptions of Developmental Outcomes Scale

Ryan Joseph Gagnon, Barry Garst


To support practitioners’ need for reliable and valid measures of the youth camp experience, this study compares the results of two analytic approaches—(1) composite-based paired samples t tests and (2) a latent structural equation model approach—using the Parental Perceptions of Developmental Outcomes (PPDO) scale in a sample of 930 parents of youth attending residential summer camps. Through a retrospective pretest (RPT) design, parents reported statistically significant growth across the five dimensions of the PPDO (responsibility, exploration, self-regulation, attitude, and communication) in both analytic approaches. The study results indicated similar effect sizes and conclusions were reached using both analytical approaches, suggesting a more practitioner-friendly approach (composite) may tell the same story as a more complex and research-oriented (latent) approach. This finding, as well as the revalidation of the PPDO in this sample, indicates the PPDO's usefulness in applied and research contexts.

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camp; youth development; applied multivariate research; parents; Parental Perceptions of Developmental Outcomes Scale

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