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Youth Perspectives on the Impact of Museum Programs on Self-Efficacy

Thesis by Melisa A. McChesney (2017)

As part of a larger trend to better serve communities and address social issues, a number of museums in North America have created collaborative, advocacy-based programs for Native teens. These programs are considered impactful by museum staff, but their outcomes have not been studied academically. The purpose of this study was to explore how such programs impact Native teen participants’ self-efficacy toward social change. To do so, data from interviews with nine current and former participants in three programs were analyzed qualitatively. Results suggest that participants perceived an increase in their self-efficacy beliefs, both toward the overall attainability of social change and the specific tasks necessary for initiating social change. They attributed the increase to opportunities afforded to them by programs, including inactive attainment and modeling experiences. These findings reveal how museums can use self-efficacy as a desired outcome to design programs that potentially benefit Native youth in a decentralized manner.

Keywords: Class of 2017, museum, museum studies, museology, research, youth, Native American, programs, self-efficacy, long-term impacts


McChesney, M., & Luke, Jessica J. (2017). Youth perspectives on the impact of museum programs on self-efficacy . [University of Washington Libraries].