A project of the Afterschool Alliance.

Girls on the Run: Impact of a Physical Activity Youth Development Program on Psychosocial and Behavioral Outcomes

Year Published: 2019

This study evaluated the effectiveness of the Girls on the Run program and found that participants in the program improved their social and emotional behaviors and health outcomes, including measures of competence, confidence, character, connection, caring, and physical activity. Girls who scored below the preseason average showed the greatest gains, including in areas such as perceived social competence, self-esteem, empathy, and positive connection with their peers. 

Program Name: Girls on the Run

Program Description:

Girls on the Run is a national afterschool program designed to boost elementary and middle school girls’ social, psychological, and physical competencies through running, physical activity, and other skill-building opportunities. The program operates in all 50 states and serves more than 200,000 girls a year.

Scope of the Evaluation: National

Program Type: Summer, Afterschool

Location: United States

Grade level: Elementary School, Middle School

Program Demographics:

Of those who participated in the study, 66 percent identified as White, 11 percent as Hispanic/Latina, 9 percent as African American, 7 percent as multiracial, 2 percent as Native American, and 1 percent as Asian. 

Program Website: https://www.girlsontherun.org/

Evaluator: Weiss, M. R., Kipp, L. E., Phillips Reichter, A., Espinoza, S. M., & Bolter, N. D.

Evaluation Type: Non-experimental

Below is a selection of evaluation data reported by the program around three major categories of youth outcomes—interest in STEM, capacity to productively engage in STEM, and finding value in STEM. These outcomes are an excerpt from a 2016 Afterschool Alliance paper, "The Impact of Afterschool STEM: Examples from the Field."

Interest: I like to do this

Capacity: I can do this

Value: This is important to me

Date Added: June 9, 2022