The aims of the community-based project Nelecom are (1) the promotion of the positive development of children and adolescents, their socio-emotional competence, participation, and promotion of responsibility for issues in their communities. Furthermore, Nelecom aims at (2) the encouragement of expansion, support, and advancement of a learning culture based on regional identity, individual promotion, and appreciated relationships. Finally, Nelecom seeks (3) to connect kindergartens and schools with partners and other responsible persons of all generations, institutions, organisations, and initiatives within the communities. To accomplish these aims, different program elements will be implemented in four selected pilot-communities under involvement of important key figures and network partners.
Nelecom will be evaluated in terms of feasibility, acceptance (process evaluation) and effectiveness (outcome evaluation) based on scientific standards. The study design includes three subsamples. Four selected pilot-communities build the intervention group (VG), which made a successful application for project participation. Furthermore two control groups (control group A; KG/A, and control group B; KG/B) will be involved in the study. Control group A (KG/A) contains of three communities, which also applied for Nelecom, and are widely comparable in terms of socio-demographics like social structure, infrastructure, and availability of resources to the intervention group (intend-to-treat). Control group B (KG/B) contains further three communities, which are also comparable to the other communities, but they were not interested in the project (no treatment and no intend). They were selected randomly out of the remaining communities of the Federal State of Thuringia.
Data collection covers a longitudinal design (four measurements planned) that will take place primarily in schools and pre-schools and will focus on the subjective assessments regarding available developmental assets within the contexts of family, school, and further on social and personal competencies, and problem behaviour. We will also conduct an extensive process evaluation. With this study, we are interested in answering question like: Do children and adolescents of pilot-communities show better developmental outcomes (in terms of higher bonding to school and community, and reduced problem behaviour) as compared to children of other communities not taking part in the Nelecom project.
The study is funded by the Thuringian Ministry of Education and supported by the DKJS (German Foundation for Children and Adolescents) and the ThILLM.
- Weichold, K. & Silbereisen, R. K. (in press). Positive development in adolescence: Theoretical framework and promotion of positive outcomes. Enfance (Special Issue on Knowing and promoting the development of adolescents).
- Weichold, K. & Silbereisen, R. K. (2007). Positive Jugendentwicklung und Prävention. In B. Röhrle (Ed.), Prävention und Gesundheitsförderung für Kinder und Jugendliche (S. 103-126). Tübingen: DGTV-Verlag.
Nelecom - Homepage
K. Weichold and Silbereisen, R. K., in collaboration with M. Spaeth