Ethics, Emotional Quotient, and Interpersonal Connection: Peer-identified Characteristics for Urban High School-based Peer Navigators
Objective: Youth-initiated outreach in schools has the potential to increase utilization of school-based health centers (SBHC). We aimed to identify preferred attributes of peer navigators (PNs) working in SBHCs. Methods: We conducted 4 focus groups using the nominal group technique. Participants represented a convenience sample of students. Inclusion criteria included enrollment in SBHC and afterschool availability. Each group was 60 minutes long and reflected on 3 aspects of PNs to define key characteristics. We used a team-based approach for iterative-inductive analysis of data involving open-coding to identify inter-group themes. Results: We recruited 37 participants from a single high school campus. Each group consisted of 8-13 adolescents. The "Who" question identified preferred characteristics: "Having Experience/Knowledge," "Positive Role Model," and "High Emotional Quotient." The "What" question identified preferred content areas: "Mental Health," "Reproductive Health," and "Basic Health Information." The "How" question identified methods of communication: "Clear Visibility," "Community Participation," "One-on-One Interactions." Conclusions: Adolescents provided assessment of what they would hope for from a PN. There is overwhelming emphasis on interpersonal qualities and ethical standards of behavior. This could have important program design and recruitment implications for PNs working with adolescent populations.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: January 1, 2021
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