M. Elizabeth Fore, MEd, Arnold School of Public Health Department of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior, University of South Carolina, 800 Sumter Street, Columbia, SC 29208, 803-777-7636, email@example.com and Deborah Parra-Medina, PhD, Norman J. Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, 800 Sumter Street, Columbia, SC 29208.
For adolescents, the development of their identity is based on many forces both internal and external. During these years of questioning, many are faced with the negative stereotypes of youth. They see the negative images of youth portrayed in the media and feel the effects of belonging to a group undervalued by society. A cursory examination of the various media outlets reveals that images of youth differ based on the type of youth being portrayed. Because the images of youth differ dramatically based on socio-demographic factors, youth vary in their attention to these images based on their shared race/ethnicity and gender with the image portrayed in the media. As a result, their impressions of how society views youth differ based on their own socio-demographic factors such as race/ethnicity, age, and gender. A survey of youth members of youth programs in South Carolina was conducted to assess the attitudes and behaviors of the youth, their connections with their communities, and their experiences within their youth programs. As part of the survey, youth (n=185) were asked about their perceptions of how adults view youth. The “positive perceptions of youth” scale was a four-item Likert-type scale ranging from 1=“strongly disagree” to 4=“strongly agree”. The mean score on the positive view of youth was 2.7 (s.d.=.68). Using age, race/ethnicity, and gender, age was the only significant predictor of perceptions of a positive view of youth (p<.05). Youth ages 13 and younger thought that adults viewed youth more positively than did older youth.
Keywords: Adolescent Health, Community Programs
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.
The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA