Loyola University Chicago

Department of Psychology


Amy Governale

Amy Governale
Training Track: Developmental
Advisor: James Garbarino, Ph.D.
Office: Coffey Hall 106
Webpage: Research Gate


My research interests include community resources that promote positive youth development among low-income, ethnically diverse adolescents. Specifically, my research focuses on the relation between participation in community-based afterschool programs and youth outcomes both during the summer months.

Masters Thesis Title

The Influence of Community-Based Summer Programs on Ethnically Diverse, Low-Income, Chicago Youth

Masters Thesis Abstract

How youth spend their time has become an increasingly important factor in studying adolescent development. During the summer months, longer periods of unsupervised time have been associated with a loss of academic skills and lower social-emotional skills. One support for at-risk youth and adolescents might be summer programs housed in community-based organizations. Using a pre-post test design over an 11-week period, the present study examines the linkages among participation in summer programs, individual characteristics, and youth outcomes among ethnically diverse, low-income Chicago youth. Analyses revealed ethnicity was related to math skills at the end of the summer, although the strongest predictor of mathematic ability at the end of the summer was academic skills at the beginning of the summer. Higher participation in summer programs was associated with more empathetic feelings on a self-report measure. Future directions and implications for studying community-based summer programs are discussed.

Masters Thesis Committee

James Garbarino and Christine Li-Grining