Evaluation 2018: Speaking Truth to Power

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Youth Speak to Power: How focus groups inform statewide and national health initiatives

Session Number: 2176
Track: Youth Focused Evaluation
Session Type: Multipaper
Session Chair: Jane Powers [Project Director, ACT for Youth Center of Excellence - Cornell University]
Presenter 1: Jane Powers [Project Director, ACT for Youth Center of Excellence - Cornell University]
Presenter 2: Amanda Purington [Director of Evaluation & Research, ACT for Youth Center for Community Action - Cornell University]
Presenter 3: Mary Maley [Extension Associate - Cornell University]
Time: Nov 02, 2018 (10:30 AM - 11:15 AM)
Room: CC - 26B

Abstract 1 Title: Listening to Youth: How young people inform the New York State Department of Health
Presentation Abstract 1:

The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) has embraced a youth development framework as a public health strategy for its youth programming and initiatives. A core principle is to engage youth and integrate their perspectives into the development of statewide strategies and policies. Focus groups have been one mechanism for bringing “youth voice” into our work. Focus groups help us understand how adolescents think about certain issues. We describe several focus group projects to learn about: 1) how young people get information about sexual health, access treatment and services, and their ideas on how to improve adolescent sexual health care; 2) youth health behaviors and practices; 3) attitudes about family planning and birth control; 4) perceptions of binge drinking; and 5) beliefs about teen dating violence. We discuss how these findings have been used to inform and provide guidance to the NYSDOH in their planning efforts. 

Abstract 2 Title: Using focus groups to obtain youth perspectives on a media campaign to reduce consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages
Presentation Abstract 2:

As one strategy to prevent obesity and promote oral health, the New York State Department of Health plans to develop a media campaign aimed at reducing the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages by black and Hispanic adolescent males. We conducted a series of focus groups with these young men to obtain their recommendations for the creation of messages for the media campaign. Focus group findings will be used to craft messages that will be part of a statewide media campaign. We sought to examine participant consumption of sugary beverages, perceived risks of sugar-sweetened beverages, and their responses to various media messages and strategies designed to reduce consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages, and the media in which they most often encounter advertising. 

Abstract 3 Title: Unheard Voices: Rural and Tribal Youth Speak Out on Reducing Barriers to Program Participation
Presentation Abstract 3:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention aims to expand the reach of its sexual violence prevention programming to rural and tribal youth, populations which historically have had low participation rates in these efforts.  We conducted focus groups with rural and tribal youth in Western New York State to better understand how to enhance recruitment and retention for these youth. Themes addressed in this qualitative study include: a) programs and program elements that capture and maintain youth attention and participation, b) structural facilitators and impediments to program engagement (e.g. transportation, timing, cost, duration), c) social and cultural factors that may affect sexual violence prevention program participation, d)  ideas for minimizing inhibiting factors and maximizing facilitative factors (e.g. perceived benefit of incentives, transportation assistance, meals/snacks, supplies).


Audience Level: All Audiences

Session Abstract (150 words): 

Focus groups are a great method to capture youth voice and gain a deeper understanding of youth perspectives on issues which impact their lives. In this session, we demonstrate how data obtained from youth focus groups are used by two major public health institutions (the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the New York State Department of Health) to inform the development of programs, initiatives and policies. Focus groups have been the mechanism by which we bring “youth voice” into our work. They help us understand how adolescents think about certain issues, and uncover factors that influence their opinions, behavior and motivation. We share examples of how, through focus groups, youth have been able to speak their truths to those adults and institutions who lead efforts to promote adolescent health and well-being.

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Cancellation Policy: Refunds less a $50 fee will be granted for requests received in writing prior to 11:59 PM EDT October 8, 2018. Email cancellation requests to registration@eval.org. All refunds are processed after the meeting. After October 8, 2018 all sales are final. For Evaluation 2018, international attendees and presenters who encounter complications due to the international travel environment will have up to 30 days after the event to request a refund and submit appropriate documentation. No administrative fee will apply for the international requests.