A new study by the American Institutes for Research (AIR) found that Girls Inc. participants are more likely than their peers to see themselves as leaders with the power to influence and improve their communities.
A rigorous comparative study by the American Institutes for Research (AIR) found that Girls Inc. girls have an advantage over their peers in more than 20 key areas. These findings led Girls Inc. to develop the Stronger, Smarter, Bolder: Girls Take the Lead report.
On January 6, 2020, Girls Inc. released, the Stronger, Smarter, Bolder: Girls Take the Lead report, outlining what girls need to succeed and lead in business, politics, and within their communities. The report presents an in-depth analysis of societal barriers girls face and provides recommendations for communities to effectively support girls. The report outlines four fundamental supports girls need to overcome systemic societal challenges:
- Provide mentoring relationships
- Encourage girls to develop and use their voices
- Promote positive self-image
- Foster intellectual confidence
The report presents a comprehensive view of the landscape in which girls grow up in the U.S. and Canada. Highlighting some of the most recent and significant research on girls, the report identifies ten key factors that shape their lives: physical activity, mental health, substance use, teen pregnancy, educational achievement, STEM experiences, graduation rates, juvenile justice, healthy relationships (encompassing harassment and sexual abuse), and leadership opportunities.
The AIR study identified the impact of Girls Inc. programming through a two-year, quasi-experimental research study. It compared Girls Inc. participants to a similar group of non-participating girls using self-reported measures of experiences, skills, and attitudes, and objective measures of academic performance. Researchers determined that regardless of demographic, academic, and social characteristics, girls who participated in Girls Inc. programs outpaced their peers and were more likely to:
- See themselves as leaders with the skills and capabilities to influence and improve their local communities
- Exercise regularly and participate in sports teams
- Have higher standardized test scores in math Have more confidence in STEM subjects and see themselves pursuing careers in STEM fields
- Be engaged in and attend school, avoid serious disciplinary action, and be prepared for life after high school
Dr. Deborah Moroney, Managing Director of the American Institutes for Research, said of the study: “In a rigorous comparison study, we found that girls who participate in the Girls Inc. Experience demonstrated improved academic performance, school-related behaviors, physical activity, and leadership outcomes.”