Online Program

Investigating the effects of a savings and asset-building program on health and well-being of low-income youth in Ghana

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 1:00 p.m. - 1:15 p.m.

Gina Chowa, PhD, MSW, School of Social Work, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
Rainier Masa, PhD, MSW, School of Social Work, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
Background: A key aspect of youth savings is the potential impact it could have on youth development. Evidence suggests that savings have positive impacts on health. This paper describes an intervention study and its conceptual framework for understanding the pathways through which a savings program may contribute to positive health and well-being of youth. Methods and Design: The YouthSave Ghana experiment uses a cluster randomized design with 50 schools in treatment condition and 50 schools in control condition. The sample size is 6,252 youth. The intervention is offering of a youth-tailored savings account. Intensive marketing and school banking will be conducted at treatment schools. Data will be collected at two time points: baseline and follow-up. Health outcomes to be assessed include health perception, protective factors, and attitudes toward risky sexual behaviors. Discussion: Interventions to promote positive health of young people have been developed and tested. A growing number of programs that do not directly target behavior have been tested as a novel way to address health risks. YouthSave is a structural intervention that does not directly target health behavior but may be an important component of health strategies for youth in developing countries. Evidence suggests that structural interventions have been effective in promoting positive health behaviors in young people. These promising findings suggest that strategies such as financial resources may be important, in addition to information and motivation, to promote and maintain behavior change. Structural interventions may provide incentives that encourage young people to change or maintain positive health behaviors.

Learning Areas:

Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
Describe an intervention that may provide incentives to encourage young people to adopt positive health behavior Describe potential pathways through which a structural intervention may influence youth health outcomes

Keyword(s): Adolescents, International, Health Behavior

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been conducting research on social and economic determinants of health among youth in resource-limited settings. I have been involved in development and evaluation of programs to address structural barriers to health promotion and development in resource-limited settings.
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.

Back to: 4251.0: International public health