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Empowerment as Fostering Positive Youth Development and Citizenship

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Objective: To develop a theoretical framework of youth empowerment in the context of a participatory community health promotion intervention, a longitudinal qualitative study was conducted. Methods: Individual and group interviews, documents, and observations were analyzed using the constant comparative method and theoretical sampling. Results: Practitioners created an environment conducive to adolescents' taking responsibility for their quality-of-life issues by welcoming and enabling youth. Power was transferred to youth as responsibility for voicing, decision making, and action. This led to positive changes in youth development and their social integration into community. Conclusion: Empowerment emerged as a transactional partnering process between adults and youth.
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Keywords: citizenship; health promotion; participatory research; positive youth development; youth empowerment

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal & Culture, and Mental Health Research Unit, McGill University, Montréal, Québec, CANADA. 2: Department of Family Practice, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, CANADA. 3: Department of Public Administration and Urban Studies, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA. 4: Vancouver/Richmond Health Board, Community Health Services, Vancouver, BC, CANADA. 5: Office of Extramural Prevention Research, Public Health Practice Program Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA.

Publication date: 2003-05-01

More about this publication?
  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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