Date of Award

Spring 2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Public Administration (DPA)


Public Policy and Administration

Committee Chairperson

Allison Turner, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Angela Kline, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Kristen B. Crossney, Ph.D.


The study explores the impact of measuring non-academic indicators to establish and promote positive secondary and post-secondary outcomes, specifically for youth living in adverse conditions. In pursuit of this objective, the sixth grade population attending a traditional public middle school in Wilmington, Delaware completed the Search Institute’s Developmental Asset Profile (DAP), a self-report survey designed to understand the strengths and supports young people have in their lives. The assessment of the secondary data was the result of already existing programming and evaluation initiatives by the United Way of Delaware. The analyses show that participants perceptions of self, family, and community indirectly influence future decision making, academic and personal development while advocating for intentional alignment across their core contexts for the continued promotion of positive outcomes. Implications for relevant community stakeholders including recommendations for future research and practice are discussed.