250231 Youth Participatory Action Researchers (PAR) conduct community assessments and community health interventions

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Mia Luluquisen, DrPH, MPH, RN , Alameda County Public Health Department, Community Asssessment Planning and Education/Evaluation Unit, Oakland, CA
Korin Merle , City College of San Francisco, Oakland, CA
Tammy Lee, MPH , Alameda County Public Health Department, Oakland, CA
Evette Brandon, MPH , Community, Assessment, Planning & Evaluation, Alameda County Public Health Department, Oakland, CA
Participatory action research (PAR) involves collaboration between researchers and the people they study to identify, explore and address issues. Since 2007, the Alameda County Public Health Department has engaged youth ages 12-24 years old from low-income Oakland neighborhoods in PAR to identify youth priorities for building healthier and safer communities. This youth PAR project is part of a larger public health project with the Alameda County Public Health Department and City of Oakland's City Neighborhood Initiative (CCNI) in Oakland, CA. The CCNI formed two neighborhood youth groups and joined them into the Oakland Youth Movement (OYM). Consequently, OYM conducted 2 neighborhood-level youth surveys with 200 youth. With mentorship from adult researchers, youth created survey questions, collected survey data through face-to-face interviews, input data, analyzed quantitative and qualitative data and developed data presentations to community members and leaders, partner organizations and policy makers. Among survey findings, the youth identified drugs (91%), violence (87%), not enough youth activities (79%), lack of jobs for youth (77%) and trash on the streets (73%) as problems that directly affect their health. Subsequently, OYM developed youth-friendly health promotion activities on nutrition, physical fitness and violence prevention. In one of the neighborhoods, they developed a community-wide program that provided day-long play activities, health education on nutrition, violence prevention and gang awareness workshops. Using their PAR results, Oakland youth have begun to influence policy makers to take action on their identified priorities, such as the commitment to build the West Oakland Teen Center.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Participants will describe the rationale for youth as an important population that conducts community research and provide community health interventions. Participants will describe the participatory action research process that youth learned and implemented.

Keywords: Participatory Action Research, Youth at Work

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have worked closely and have supervised the youth researchers and other staff in their community assessment and community health intervention projects.
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.