This research explored the influence of children’s perceptions of a pro-social behavior after-school program on actual change in the children’s behavioral outcomes over the program’s duration. Children’s perceptions of three program processes were collected as well as self-reported pro-social and anti-social behavior before and after the program. Statistical models showed that: Positive perceptions of the program facilitators’ dispositions significantly predicted reductions in anti-social behavior; and positive perceptions with the program activities significantly predicted gains in pro-social behavior. The children’s perceptions of their peers’ behavior in the sessions were not found to a significant predictor of behavioral change. The two significant perceptual indicators predicted a small percentage of the change in the behavioral outcomes. However, as after-school social learning programs have a research history of problematic implementation children’s perceptions should be considered in future program design, evaluation and monitoring.
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- School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work - Principal Research Fellow