The strength of youth voice: exploring the influence of youth strength-perspectives on desired outcomes for youth enrolled in system-of-care services

Elizabeth Sacre Trawick, Mark Aber, Nicole Allen, Jessica Fitts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Recent efforts to improve mental health services for young people have called for the inclusion of youth and families in service planning and delivery. When youth strengths are considered within the treatment context, many continue to prioritize adult perspectives of youth strengths. Questions remain about how and why strengths matter for youth from the perspective of youth. The present study explores the relative influence of youth and caregiver assessments of youth strengths across six strength domains to predict emotional and behavioral outcomes. Data were gathered from 49 youth (aged 10–18) and caregiver dyads upon enrollment in system-of-care services and 6 months later. Youth strength assessments predicted changes in delinquency, school attendance, activity involvement, over and above caregiver strength assessments, and 6 months after service enrollment. Results support the inclusion of youth voice in mental health service planning and delivery, and further highlight the value of understanding strengths in a domain specific way.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)104-124
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Prevention and Intervention in the Community
Volume47
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 3 2019

Keywords

  • System of care
  • delinquency
  • mental health
  • school
  • youth voice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology

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