North Country Listens partnered with the Coös Youth Study researchers from the Carsey School of Public Policy at UNH to engage community members and youth-focused professionals in small group conversations following research presentations. Check out the following blog post and link to the full report of participant feedback found here on the Reports page.
[The following blog post was written by Michael Stauton of the Carsey School for The Coös NetWorks.]
On July 10, over 40 community members and youth-focused professionals gathered at White Mountains Community College to participate in a day-long opportunity to learn about recent research coming out of the UNH Carsey School of Public Policy’s Coös Youth Study. The Coös Youth Study is a ten year project exploring young people’s decisions about their educational and job opportunities in Coös County and their plans to stay in Coös or move away. Over 800 youth from the region have participated in the study since it began in 2008.
North Country Listens partnered with the research team to facilitate discussions following presentations on substance use and depression, family atmosphere and parenting implications for teens’ future plans, school and community connectedness, and adolescents’ use of out-of-school time. Participants shared critical information with the research team about what they are seeing in their work and how the data gathered for the study can inform their practice on the ground.
The enormous amount of valuable feedback offered by participants simply cannot be contained in a single blog post! A more complete account of the day’s discussions can be found here. Below are some examples of the key takeaways.
Please join the conversation by adding a comment on…
- What stands out to you about the research findings?
- What insights or ideas do you have to address the findings?
- What further research or data collection would be useful to you?
- Stressed-out Coös youth are at elevated risk for alcohol and/or drug use problems.
- Less substance use is reported among Coös youth who have strong attachments to the community and who are most involved in positive activities.
- Can the connections between community programs and schools be strengthened in order to better connect youth with prevention and positive programming?
- Transportation was identified by participants as a major barrier to keeping kids involved in school and community activities.
- Participants suggested bringing back the “late bus” in areas where it has been discontinued and using online tools for ridesharing.
- For Coös youth, a chaotic home environment is linked with…
- …perceiving more obstacles in the future.
- …placing less importance on graduating high school.
- …placing less importance on living close to family in the future.
- Participants suggested initiatives to educate new and young parents on early childhood development and ways to reduce chaos in the home.
- It was also proposed that offering childcare and dinner during these types of programs might allow busy, young parents the ability to attend.
- Youth with strong community attachments are less likely to believe that it is important to leave the area and are more likely to believe it is important to finish college.
- Participants focused on opportunities to spread the word throughout Coös County about activities in the North Country that will interest older adolescents and keep them connected, particularly activities that will attract boys.
Thank you to our Supporters
With the generous support of the Neil and Louise Tillotson Fund of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, continuing education credits were offered at no cost to area social workers, nurses, physicians, licensed alcohol and drug counselors, and certified prevention specialists attending the event. The Coös Youth Study is supported by the Neil and Louise Tillotson Fund and the National Science Foundation. North Country Listens is supported by the Neil and Louise Tillotson Fund of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation. We are grateful!