Present and accounted for: measuring attendance in out-of-school-time programs.

Leila M. Fiester, Sandra D. Simpkins, Suzanne M. Bouffard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Evidence is emerging that youth who attend out-of-school-time (OST) programs more frequently and for longer periods of time benefit more than youth who attend less frequently or do not attend at all. It is also increasingly clear that children and youth will not reap the benefits of programs if they do not attend regularly. Collecting attendance data can help program leaders gauge demand for services, plan and manage programs effectively, and evaluate participant outcomes in relation to attendance. This chapter presents these and other reasons for collecting attendance data, as well as the methods and techniques that program leaders and researchers have at their disposal for measuring attendance. It describes four indicators of attendance--absolute attendance, intensity, duration, and breadth--that can provide detailed information and insight about youth participants and their use of programs. The chapter also provides tips for collecting attendance data and features examples from OST programs. Throughout, the chapter illustrates that the right indicators and data collection methods depend on program needs, characteristics, and goals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-107
Number of pages17
JournalNew directions for youth development
Issue number105
StatePublished - 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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