Storytelling Narratives: Social Bonding as Key for Youth at Risk

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This research used a structured storytelling narrative methodology to capture the lived experience of youth participants to identify effective factors that helped them in three programs in Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties, California. Thirty-nine youth aged 8–17 participated in two storytelling protocols at their home sites; one was a written narrative of a vivid experience in the project, and the second was a group story about a character who had been a participant. Categorical content analysis reported the following themes: positive peer experiences, caring adults, family atmosphere and learning new skills particularly computer literacy. Participants reported changing from being isolated or acting out to succeeding in school.

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