Title

An Exploratory Study on Impact of Participation in Youth Action Councils on Development of Assets

Publication Date

10-2002

Type of Culminating Activity

Thesis

Degree Title

Master of Health Science, Health Promotion

Major Advisor

Sarah E. Toevs

Advisor

Caile E. Spear

Advisor

James T. Girvan

Abstract

An exploratory, descriptive, cross-sectional study was conducted to gather the perceptions of Youth Action Council (YAC) participants from communities in Idaho. A retrospective pretest questionnaire was developed to examine perceptions of change in three developmental assets as well as the friendliness of the community towards youth. Qualitative questions were also asked to identify the factors that affected change. Self- reported information on participation in asset building events and demographic information was also gathered.

Two-thirds (65.6%) of the respondents were female and the majority were white (91%) between the ages of 14-17 (84%). Over half (63%) reported their area of residence as southwestern Idaho with 30% and 7% from southeastern and northern Idaho, respectively. Youth reported level of involvement in asset building events over the school year ranged from 0-100 events, with an median of 3.

Perception of change in assets and community friendliness from the beginning to the end of the school year was analyzed using a paired-t test. Statistically significant differences were found between the pre and post scores for the asset variables (p = .001) and between pre and post community friendliness scores (p = .002). The perception of change for all of the variables was in a positive direction with youth reporting an increase in their success of goal achievement, ability to make healthy life choices, comfort in seeking advice from adults, and sense of community friendliness.

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