Youth development professionals: An untapped sex education resource
Background: Research into the provision of sexual health information for youth has demonstrated inadequate school support and little to no information exchange between parents and their children. Community leaders have suggested and research has demonstrated that youth-serving community-based organizations (CBOs) and the youth development professionals (YDPs) who work there may play a role in providing sexual health information to young people(Fisher et al., 2010; 2012). The current study expands on previous research through a deeper investigation of the interactions, programs and resources, and context surrounding the provision of sexual health information through YDPs in CBOs. Methods: Semi-structured interviews focusing on the three domains above conducted among 30 Midwestern YDPs who work part-time for at least a year in a youth-serving CBO and have significant direct interactions with youth. Content analysis within and across the three domains of interest includes engagement in proactive and reactive sexual health education, and factors, facilitators and barriers influencing such engagement. Results: The study provides robust and nuanced descriptions of YDP interactions with youth on issues related to sexual health, the amount and type of programs and resources dedicated to sexual health promotion as well as the context of interactions. Conclusions: Triangulated with existing data, the study seeks to provide a rich description of YDP's sexual-health-related interactions with youth, the context of those interactions, and existing as well as desired resources. The results will be useful in developing programs to reduce implementation barriers and strengthen the role of CBO-based YDP in promoting adolescent sexual health.
Advocacy for health and health education
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Social and behavioral sciences
Identify the role of youth development professionals in adolescent sexuality education.
Describe the types of interactions, programs and resources, and context of YDP interactions with youth on topics related to sexual health.
Discuss ways YDPs can be further supported in promoting adolescent sexual health.
Keyword(s): Sexuality, Adolescents
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I conducted the previous research and am conducting and analyzing the interviews
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines,
and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed
in my presentation.