Thursday, January 12, 2023: 1:30 PM-3:00 PM
Hospitality 3 - Room 432, 4th Level (Sheraton Phoenix Downtown)
Cluster: Adolescent and Youth Development
Gina Chowa, PhD, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Kirsten Kainz, PhD, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Background/Rationale: Across the globe, vulnerable and marginalized youth (VMY) are often excluded from social, economic, or educational opportunities enjoyed by their peers due to factors beyond their control (Auerswald, Piatt, and Mirzazadeh, 2017). Among other reasons, youth are marginalized because of their membership in certain groups, including gender, ethnicity, race, (dis)ability, sexual orientation, migration status, economic status, religion, education level, and mental/physical health (Powers, Evangelides, and Offerdahl, 2014). Marginalization negatively impacts the development and progression of youth. There are very few context-specific tools and measures that identify and measure the vulnerability and marginalization that youth experience accurately. These data and information are crucial for developing interventions that will support and address youth to be resilient in the experience with vulnerabilities. Methods: This symposium includes four papers: Paper 1 presents a framework and tool that identifies vulnerable and marginalized youth in low-resources settings, using a socio-ecological model, and presents indicators to measure vulnerabilities accurately. Paper 2 critically examines youth contribution using the Positive Youth Development Measurement Toolkit (PYDMT) and recommends replacing some indicators to accurately measure contribution in a youth-informed, culturally responsive, context-specific, developmentally appropriate, and identity considerate manner. Paper 3 explores multiple co-occurring stigmatized characteristics and identities among young Latino sexual minority men (YLSMM) that may heighten their risk for adverse health outcomes. Paper 4 presents research that developed the Behavioral Assessment for Children Heritage (BACAH) and the Caribbean Symptom Checklist (CSC). Results: These four papers present tools that promise to accurately measure vulnerability to create enabling environments for positive youth development. The Intrinsic (micro), Contextual (mezzo), and Structural (macro) the ICS framework presents indicators at all three levels that highlight the importance of the interplay of these three levels in the vulnerability of youth. The results show that holistic measures of vulnerability that consider the youth and their environment are superior to measures that focus only on one level. The youth contribution paper presents findings that show that the PYDMT is a process measure and misses the mark of an outcome tool. PYMDT measures the 'why' of VMY youth contribution, therefore, missing the mark of the 'what.' The YLSMM paper demonstrates multiple layers of stigmatized characteristics and identities among YLSMM, which heighten the vulnerability of YLSMM. The BACAH and CSC paper demonstrate that IRT linking permits equivalence even when two groups have different culturally valid items. Implications: There is no clear, consistent definition of vulnerability or marginalization or agreed-upon factors contributing to youth's vulnerability and marginalization. The use of vulnerability is often normative in that it implies a deviation from what is considered normal, a concept that is often used to describe situational concerns (e.g., circumstances of social, emotional, or physical difficulty) based on standards or values that the individuals or communities in question may not hold. The findings from the papers in this symposium present tools that provide great examples of accurately measuring vulnerability and marginalization.
* noted as presenting author
See more of: Symposia