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[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Student researchers: Impact of participation in youth-led health research projects on participants

Samira Soleimanpour, MPH1, Sara Peterson, MPH1, Claire D. Brindis, DrPH1, Jonathan London, PhD2, and Ahna Ballonoff, MPH2. (1) Institute for Health Policy Studies, University of California, San Francisco, 3333 California Street, Suite 265, San Francisco, CA 94143, 415-476-8621, samira@itsa.ucsf.edu, (2) Youth in Focus, 1611 Telegraph Avenue, Suite 510, Oakland, CA 94612

Through a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the University of California, San Francisco is conducting a participatory research project designed to increase the level of community involvement in school-based health center evaluation efforts by training youth to conduct youth-led research and evaluation projects. Teams of five students from seven high schools and one middle school are trained to identify health priority areas to research, develop and implement data collection instruments, analyze data, make recommendations based on their research findings, and disseminate their recommendations to key stakeholders and decision makers. Students complete a pretest prior to participating and a posttest upon completion to measure the impact of program participation on leadership ability; research and public speaking skills; self-esteem; academic, professional, and personal aspirations; and supportive relationships with adult mentors and peer allies. Qualitative data is also collected through open-ended assessments and interviews. Pretest data from the current program participants (n=40) was collected in October 2003 and posttest data will be collected in May 2004. Preliminary findings from four student researchers who participated in the pilot project in Spring 2003 revealed that students reported increased self-efficacy, improved interpersonal and communication skills, increased knowledge of health and research concepts, greater confidence about their future employment and careers, and an increased desire to pursue further education as a result of participating in this program. These preliminary findings reinforce the importance of providing leadership opportunities for youth that encourage their active involvement in programs and policies affecting their lives.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the session, the participant in this session will be able to

Keywords: Youth, Evaluation

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Positive Youth Development: Practical School-Based Programs

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA