207996 “I AM…” - using free listing techniques to guide program design in an adolescent health intervention in Bangladesh

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Suruchi Sood, PhD , Department of Medical Science and Community Health, Arcadia University, Newark, DE
Devaki Nambiar, PhD , Columbia University/New York State Psychiatric Institute, HIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral Studies, New York, NY
Shailaja Maru , Health, Behavior and Society Department, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD
Shuaib Mohammad , Survey Research Agency, SURCH, Dhaka, Bangladesh
Self concept is integral to empowerment, and may be used as an indicator in monitoring this process. Measuring self concept through a free listing “I AM” exercise was used as a program and evaluation tool in the UNICEF managed “Kishori Abhijan”(KA) Empowerment of adolescent girls' project in Bangladesh. KA project aims to change norms and behaviors around child marriage, dowry, birth and marriage registration, sexuality and HIV/AIDS among over 60,000 adolescents (aged 10-19). Local NGOs facilitate life skills and leadership training among adolescent peer leaders (PL), who in turn conduct regular peer group sessions, where adolescents were asked to write 10 descriptive sentences about themselves, each starting with “I AM”. Systematic random sampling was used to select lists from 24 sites. A local agency conducted onsite validation through replication (reliability > 90%). The data included 4578 statements (n = 495). Analysis included deductive (pre-organized analysis plan) and inductive (eliciting themes as they emerged) techniques.

Adolescents listed personal values, qualities emotions, and aspirations. “Student” was commonly listed, in spite of high drop-out rates in this population, suggesting that education is a priority. Many listed hobbies like “singing,” revealing a venue for self expression and social action in KA. Lists also included many references to family and religion, reinforcing the need for an “environment of change” approach with the participation of parents and religious leaders. Adolescents also referred to their attendance and liking of KA; future lists the prominence of the program in adolescent self concept and the underlying process of empowerment.

Learning Objectives:
Describe the development of afree listing “ I AM” exercise to measure self-concept/identity among adolescents in Bangladesh. Demonstrate how data from “I AM” exercise can feed back into program design in an community-based intervention for adolescents

Keywords: Adolescents, International, Community Health Programs

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Principle Investigator on Project
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.