Precursors to successful youth-adult partnerships: The role of adult warmth and expertise
MacIntosh, Ashley N.
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Youth-Adult Partnerships (Y-APs) have been found to foster youth engagement and positive youth development. However, existing research tends to confound the characteristics of Y-APs with their general outcomes and the existing methods of evaluating Y-APs tend to be based on correlational methodologies. I sought to create a measure of Y-AP success that did not confound the characteristics of a successful Y-AP with outcomes. Using the existing literature as a guide, three components were selected for inclusion in the Y-AP success measure: 1) perceptions of productivity; 2) positive affect; and 3) having one's contributions welcomed and considered. Using this new measure, I tested a model to assess how adult warmth and expertise interacted with task difficulty to influence three components of Y-AP success. Participants included 402 university students (M = 19.27, SD = 1.28, 89.1 % female) from Brock University and Cape Breton University. Video clips of an adult, depicting all possible combinations of warmth and expertise were created for this study, as well as a pair of hypothetical tasks designed to elicit differential degrees of perceived difficulty. Participants were exposed to one video of a hypothetical adult and two hypothetical tasks and responded to the Y-AP success measures twice, for each ofthe tasks. Results from mixed-model ANOVAs revealed that the adult and task characteristics were not consistently related to all components of Y-AP success. However, several significant interactions suggested that youth perceptions of task difficulty and their impressions of adult partners influenced the extent to which they expected a Y-AP to be successful. The results are discussed in the context of how they support or conflict with the existing literature and serve as a first step in the inference of causality within the study of Y-APs.