Online Program

Vacant homes, overcrowdedness, and trash: How youth perceive their communities

Monday, November 4, 2013 : 3:15 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Hannah Lantos, MPAID, School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD
Kristin N. Mmari, DrPH, MA, Department of Population, Family, and Reproductive Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD
The WAVE study includes young people in disadvantaged communities from Baltimore, Johannesburg, Shanghai, New Delhi, and Ibadan. Researchers conducted key informant and in-depth interviews, community mapping, focus groups, and a photovoice, where adolescents took photos of ‘health' in their communities. The analysis is based on codes and themes across sites that relate to the built environment. Youth described the built environment as one of the most influential factors influencing their health. There were similarities along several dimensions. In all sites, respondents spoke about the cleanliness of their environment and safety. All of the young people pointed to spaces where they felt safe or not based on the structures, zoning, or production that occurred in those localities. In all sites, respondents referred to their homes as one of the places they felt safe; but in Baltimore and Johannesburg, there were some youth who felt that there were no safe places. The youth also pointed out particularly challenging aspects of the built environment that differed across sites. Baltimore respondents commented on the abundance of vacant buildings. Johannesburg respondents spoke of overcrowding. In Delhi, respondents differentiated between gendered safe spaces. In Shanghai, respondents complained about pollution and industrial waste; while in Ibadan young people spoke about problems of basic service delivery. Most literature on adolescents and the built environment focuses on how physical activity is restrict by the environment; this paper adds to the literature by showing how many different ways the environment affects adolescent health and the differences around the world.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
identify the health challenges of adolescents. describe the factors that adolescents perceive to be related to their health. analyze how these factors contribute towards help-seeking behaviors in their communities. The above are the objectives of the study. -describe how young people perceive the built environment in their community and how that impacts their health. -compare the perceptions of the built environment by youth living in vulnerable environments across five global sites. -discuss policy implications for the built environment across these five global sites. The above are the objectives for this paper.

Keyword(s): Urban Health, Adolescents

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am writing the paper.
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.