Participatory & Empowering Youth Spaces & Places: Conceptualizing New Directions in Research on TDV Prevention & Health Promotion
This roundtable discussion will provide a conceptual overview of how youth engagement and participatory concepts can be integrated into research agendas focused on preventing TDV. Discussion will focus on identifying the programmatic features of youth empowerment programs including: physical and psychological safety, supportive relationships with trusted adults, opportunities for belonging and inclusion, positive social norms, support for efficacy and mattering, critically questioning social institutions, and opportunities for skill-building. This discussion will provide tangible examples of how youth engagement perspectives can be conceptualized, operationalized, and measured in youth bystander programs, as an example of youth-centered TDV prevention programming.
Additionally, this discussion will include perspectives on the challenges of conducting empirical research on youth leadership approaches being utilized in TDV programs. Presenters will discuss the opportunities and challenges associated with youth leadership approaches in TDV and describe areas for future research and practice development. We will discuss how researchers can collaborate with schools, the environments where youth are most readily found, to encourage or impede active youth participation in response to TDV. The presenters will share examples from qualitative research with youth in school settings, including a study exploring youths’ reluctance to get involved in TDV prevention. Schools can play an important role in encouraging youth participation by providing opportunities for youth to be involved in violence prevention activities, raising awareness about the reality of TDV, nurturing youth agency and voice, and creating more equitable relationships and partnerships between adults and students.
Our ultimate goal in this roundtable is to inspire a stimulating discussion on how social work researchers can assist youth-focused TDV prevention programs to transform community attitudes about youth participation, raise awareness about TDV and function as vehicles for promoting the cultivation of relationships with caring adults, meaningful opportunities and skill development that can expand the body of research on TDV prevention.