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251563 Focusing on youth assets to prevent risk behaviors and promote positive health behaviors: Which assets are most important and what are the strategies to strengthen them?
Wednesday, November 2, 2011: 9:30 AM
Many studies have examined individual youth assets as potential factors that may protect youth from participation in risk behaviors. The Youth Asset Study (YAS) prospectively examined associations among 17 youth assets and multiple risk and positive behaviors using a longitudinal study design that included five waves of data collected annually. YAS participants included 1111 youth (Mean age= 14.36 +1.59; 53% female; 26% black, 31% Hispanic, 43% white; 50% with income <$5,000; 69% in two-parent families) and their parents. Logistic regression analyses indicated that specific youth assets were prospectively associated with less participation in risk behaviors such as alcohol, tobacco and drug use, violence, and early initiation of sexual activity, and with positive outcomes such as successful transition into early adulthood. Positive peer and adult role models, family communication, responsible choices, school connectedness, relationship with father, parental monitoring, and educational aspirations were among the assets that were significantly related to the youth outcomes. Specific strategies to strengthen assets include providing activities/experiences designed to open communication among family members; creating peer mediation and peer training programs with a focus on improving decision-making skills; presenting strategies for establishing strong relationships between school staff , youth and their parents; and inviting guest speakers such as successful high school and college students, as well as college representatives, to discuss the pros of continuing education and aspiring to accomplish more. Some asset building strategies can be implemented and completed in community-, school- or home-based settings and some focus on parent as well as youth involvement.
Learning Areas:Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences
Keywords: Maternal and Child Health, Risk Behavior
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been conducting research and presenting the results at national conferences for the past 20 years.
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.