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Engaging Student Voices in Discussions on Youth Health Knowledge Exchange Donna Murnaghan, Courtney Laurence and Melissa Munro-Bernard CU EXPO Cornerbrook,

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Presentation on theme: "Engaging Student Voices in Discussions on Youth Health Knowledge Exchange Donna Murnaghan, Courtney Laurence and Melissa Munro-Bernard CU EXPO Cornerbrook,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Engaging Student Voices in Discussions on Youth Health Knowledge Exchange Donna Murnaghan, Courtney Laurence and Melissa Munro-Bernard CU EXPO Cornerbrook, NFLD June 15, 2013

2 Acknowledgements Project Funders: SHAPES/YSS-PEI (DEECD, DoHW, Health Canada) Youth Excel (CPAC) Student and Parent workshops (CIHR, CPAC) Project Partners: PEI Department of Education and Early Childhood Development PEI Department of Health and Wellness Propel Centre, University of Waterloo

3 What is SHAPES-PEI? School-based, province wide survey of youth behaviours (physical activity, healthy eating, mental fitness, and tobacco, drug, and alcohol use) Completed by all grades 5-12 students (with parental permission) from participating schools. Two surveys in one: SHAPES (provincial) and Youth Smoking Survey (YSS) (national)

4 Underlying Research School Health Assessment Feedback for Planning ActionEvaluation and Adaptation “Local” Strategy and Contexts School Health Action, Planning, and Evaluation System (SHAPES)

5 Survey conducted provincially every 2 years since % of schools participated in most recent data collection ( ) Data collection: – Student level students from grades 5-12 physical activity, healthy eating, mental fitness, and tobacco use modules grades 7-12 students also complete an alcohol/drug use module – School level school administrator surveys (Healthy School Planner – JCSH) foundational and (4) health behaviour express modules School Health Assessment: SHAPES-PEI

6 Feedback for Planning: School Health Profiles School-level Profiles – Health behaviours & attitudes of students – Data (e.g., charts), resources, & ideas for action Board-level Profiles – Aggregated data from all participating schools in the board Provincial Profile – Health profile of students within the province of PEI

7 Youth Excel ( ) Funders: – Canadian Partnership Against Cancer (CPAC) as part of an initiative called Coalitions Linking Action and Science for Prevention (CLASP). A team of teams: – (2) National partners: Joint Consortium for School Health and Propel – (7) Provincial teams: NL, PE, NB, ON, MB, AB, BC Youth Excel (nationally) has three aims: – Aim 1: Establish and advance priorities for youth health; – Aim 2: Accelerate development of KE capacity in provinces; – Aim 3: Strengthen collaboration among research, policy, and practice

8 Youth Excel: PEI Case Study 1 of 3 case study provinces (MB, NB), selected as a result of existing capacity and leadership in KE (existing youth health knowledge exchange systems) The PEI Case Study had three objectives: 1) To document and understand the development of SHAPES-PEI (i.e. “telling the story of SHAPES-PEI”) 2) To explore SHAPES-PEI evidence synthesis, distillation, and use (i.e. Use of SHAPES-PEI feedback reports and other youth health evidence) 3) To understand stakeholder perspectives on youth health KE (i.e. stakeholder perspectives and lessons learned, beliefs and visions for the future, program and policy development processes, etc.) As part of this project, PEI conducted focus groups to gain youth perspectives

9 Student and Parent Workshops “Meeting, Planning and Dissemination” grant funded by CIHR (2011) Engaging student and parent voices in school health knowledge translation Purpose of workshops was to share health information with participants and to identify school health priorities for students and parents

10 Methodology Focus Groups 7 focus groups (plus one follow- up focus group) were conducted between October 2010-May students from grades 7-12 representing 3 schools Students identified by principals/teachers Semi-guided discussion format with prompting questions (approx minutes long) Workshop All day event held in the fall of students from grades 7-12 representing 14 schools Students identified by principals/teachers Small and large group activities and discussions

11 Findings From Focus Groups and Workshop

12 School/Youth Health Priorities and Issues Healthy eating Price, food quality, availability of fast food options nearby Physical activity Lack of opportunities, fewer classes, lack of extra- curricular/sport options Bullying Spreading rumours, making fun of others

13 Youth Voices… “it is not as good taste wise, but better health wise.” “I find the majority of girls are getting less and less, like they don’t like gym as much. In elementary school, everybody looked forward to gym and was excited and stuff, but now I think girls like it less and less, for the most part.”

14 Youth Voices… Student 1: “I don’t know if [it’s] bullying…as much as just mocking. But sometimes you don’t even know if they are just kidding around as friends...” Student 2: “It just depends, some kids they get picked on.” Student 1: “It happens either not at all or a whole lot. Almost everyone in the school picks on each other as a joke, or because they don’t like the people.” Student 3: “But then there are some people who are actually, like, bullied. Everything they do, they get made fun of.” Student 1: “Yeah, it gets really serious in those cases.”

15 Current Actions Supporting Youth Health Family and Friends: Buy healthy foods and have home cooked meals Encourage youth to be active, join teams, play outside Help youth have high self-esteem School Level Cafeteria specials with healthy options, breakfast/snack programs Variety of sports teams/intramurals, fitness rooms Various clubs and groups related to anti-bullying, self-esteem, acceptance, etc. Teachers/administrators acting as positive role models

16 Youth Voices… “[school] is doing a good job now. They are promoting a lot of healthy stuff. They put in weights, treadmills, and in the cafeteria all the food is healthy.” “I have to say, we have the best teachers here. You can talk to anyone. Some teachers will stop me in the hallway and ask me how my day is going and stuff like that. We have a really supporting staff behind us.”

17 Improving Youth Health Facilitators High quality food at low cost Better access to school and community fitness facilities Positive relationships with teachers/administrators Barriers Long lines and not enough time to eat lunch Costs associated with physical activity Youth not being listened to

18 Lack of Student Voice Youth felt they do not have ability to influence change within their school Their opinions and perspectives are often ignored Youth want to participate, but are not involved in the conversations and decisions that directly impact them

19 Youth Voices… “I guess we never really tried that hard, but there are certain things that we tried to fight for that it just doesn’t work because we are kids. They don’t look at us as responsible and that we know what we are doing.”

20 Youth Voices… “[the school] just push us away because they think we don’t really know what we are talking about, but on subjects like that [cafeteria food, gym classes, tobacco on school grounds] we could actually have something against it, like it is true, but they just don’t listen to us because of our age. If they did, I am sure the school would be way better.”

21 Lessons Learned Students were less candid regarding behaviours that were socially less desirable (bullying, smoking, drinking) Youth would like to be involved, but are not often given the opportunity to participate in decisions Positive relationships and role models within the school are important to the students

22 Questions? Contact Information Web: Donna Murnaghan Principal Investigator (902) Courtney Laurence Research Coordinator (902) Melissa Munro-Bernard Research Coordinator (902)


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