178792 Building on youth assets: A model to assess and address inequities in youth health

Monday, October 27, 2008: 9:20 AM

Janet Brown, MSc , Community Assessment, Planning and Education/Evaluation Unit, Alameda County Public Health Department, Oakland, CA
Sonia Jain, DrPH MPH , Health and Human Development, WestEd, Oakland, CA
Wendi Wright, MPH , Mental Health Services Act, Alameda County Behavioral Health Care Services, Oakland, CA
Youth development provides a powerful approach to inform public health policies and practice. This model shifts a deficit-focused adult-driven perspective to a youth-focused assets-based perspective for assessment, planning and policy development.

This presentation will describe the collaborative process of developing the youth health and wellness report for Alameda County, and steps taken to incorporate youth development in the County. Three frameworks were used to organize the report: 1) youth assets and resilience at the family, schools and community levels, 2) health inequities by race, gender, age and place, and 3) context of youth development during adolescence and early adulthood. The report used multiple data sources such as California Healthy Kids Survey, CHIS, Census 2000, hospital discharge data, and the Department of Education. Indicators were reported in the areas of social, emotional, physical and academic health.

Significant disparities between racial/ethnic groups were observed, with African American and Latinos experiencing the greatest burden of disease and risks. Male youth had different risk and protective factors than female youth. The profile of youth health status will include data on violence, substance use, sexual health, mental health, and youth assets. This presentation will discuss how the report was used by youth groups, agency stakeholders, and communities to develop recommendations and to advocate for youth-centered program and policy development. The challenges and benefits of integrating youth development into assessment, planning and policy development will also be presented.

Learning Objectives:
1) Name three health issues among youth in Alameda County or in California. 2) List three examples of health inequities by race/ethnicity, gender, age or neighborhood. 3) Explain the concept of building assets among youth to reduce risky behaviors.

Keywords: Adolescent Health, Health Disparities

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I co-authored the report being represented and work at the Alameda County Health Deparment where a youth development approach is being implemented.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.