A youth-focused community needs assessment was completed in a small, rural, low socioeconomic, midwestern community utilizing the Search Institute's 40 Developmental Assets as a framework. The guiding questions were, "What are the needs of youth in a specific, small, rural, low socioeconomic midwestern town?" and "What community resources are available, or needed, to meet those needs?" This research explored the impact of positive psychology, systems theory, and developmental psychology as it explored how youth in the research community experience the Developmental Assets. In completing this needs assessment two sources of data were collected. First, youth in Grades 7, 9, and 11 were surveyed using the Search Institute's Profile of Student Life: Attitudes and Behaviors survey. This provided a plethora of information regarding the quantity of assets based on age and gender. The second source of data collected was a comprehensive list of resources available to adolescents in the community. These data sources were combined to illustrate where services are under-utilized and where needs remained. A number of significant benefits were generated as a result of this study. First, community strengths and deficits from the youth perspective were identified. Second, recommendations to maximize strengths while minimizing deficits were proposed based on a literature review of effective strategies to meet specific needs. Third, data from this research could be used to garner funding for projects and future assessments to identify if initiatives stemming from this research are beneficial. Finally, this research could serve as a catalyst or template for similar communities to undergo needs assessments focused on their youth.
|Commitee:||Harris-Britt, April, Terlizzi, Charlene|
|Department:||Harold Abel School of Social and Behavioral Sciences|
|School Location:||United States -- Minnesota|
|Source:||DAI-B 76/02(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Developmental psychology, Individual & family studies|
|Keywords:||Developmental assets, Needs assessment, Positive psychology|
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