Quantitative Analysis Project Thesis

Quantitative Analysis Project Thesis


Quantitative Analysis Project:

Assignment Overview

Social support is critical to the well-being of children and adolescents (Hughes, 2011).

Positive relationships with others promote health, self-esteem, and prosocial behavior (Cohen,

Gottlieb, & Underwood, 2000). Additionally, socially supportive relationships can buffer the

harmful effects of stressful life events, such as an illness, conflict, or parental divorce. The home

and school contexts are the two primary sources of support for most children (Harter, 2012).

Unfortunately, many children do not receive the support they need from these sources

(Zelkowitz, 1987). Given the importance of social support, researchers are currently exploring

other potential sources of support in the broader community. The purpose of this study is to

explore the church as one such potential source of positive relationships, love, and affirmation for

children by studying the effects of a relationship-based children’s ministry model.


Every Generation Ministries (EGM) is an international non-profit organization that trains

and resources church children’s workers on six different continents. The churches in many of the

countries where EGM works lack a cohesive model for children’s ministry and tend to follow

cultural norms when ministering to children. For example, churches in Eastern Europe, which are

part of the former Soviet Bloc, are more likely to provide lecture-based instruction focused on

memorization with little opportunity for interaction or relationship-building. EGM develops

national ministry teams which provide leadership development programs and Bible teaching

resources for children’s workers in local churches.

The ministry model is focused on spiritually transforming children through innovative

instructional experiences, positive relationships with adults and peers, small group discussion,


and application opportunities. These pedagogical features are theorized to promote social support

transmission. Prior literature in the school context has found that positive student relationships

with adults and peers can be promoted through smaller learning communities (McNeely et al.,

2002) and the explicit teaching of prosocial behavior (Osterman, 2000), both of which are

meaningful components of the EGM model. Furthermore, child-centered teaching, comparable to

the child-focused elements of the EGM ministry model, has been associated with a greater

sense of classroom community in public schools (Solomon et al., 1996).