In order to build concepts and measures of PYD that are racial-equity informed and attuned to the cultural needs and histories of BIPOC youth, they must be developed and validated using a critical race lens and community-based participatory research (CBPR) approach (Israel et al., 1998; 2003; Minkler & WAllerstein, 2008; Shulz et al, 2005). This symposium therefore discusses the psychometric properties, outcomes, and lessons learned from a collaborative youth survey measurement development and validation project. Phase 1 of the survey development process focused on community definitions of PYD, identifying existing and developing new constructs and items, refining constructs and items for cultural and linguistic relevance (cognitive interviewing), and pilot testing (n=320). Phase 2 involved building the Youth Measurement Tool Committee (YMTC) that included youth development program leaders and youth participants, refining the survey based on Phase 1 results, testing the changes, and making final recommendations. Overall, we highlight the importance of including BIPOC voices in developing and validating a measure of PYD to promote racial equity and decenter whiteness. The improvements to the tool and associations with youth outcomes demonstrate that not only are BIPOC voices crucial to developing a youth survey rooted in racial equity, it also resulted in a stronger, higher quality tool.
The first paper examines changes in the psychometric properties of a youth development survey across two phases of a county-wide measurement development project that was informed by CBPR and critical race theory.
In a test of validity, the second paper analyzes how community-developed measures of PYD are associated with important youth outcomes, including anxiety, depression, grades, and well-being.
The third paper discusses lessons learned from using critical race theory and CBPR to develop a measure of PYD for a county-wide health and wellness initiative. We highlight key strengths and challenges related to the processes and content involved in measurement development.