Engaging Student Voices in Discussions on Youth Health Knowledge Exchange

Murnaghan, Donna and Laurence, Courtney and Munro-Bernard, Melissa (2013) Engaging Student Voices in Discussions on Youth Health Knowledge Exchange. In: CU Expo 2013, June 12-15, 2013, Corner Brook, NL, Canada. (Submitted)

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The burden of chronic disease is increasing worldwide, and in Canada chronic disease accounts for 89% of deaths. However, currently, youth spend less time being physically active and engage in more unhealthy eating behaviours than ever before. High rates of unhealthy behaviours such as physical inactivity, unhealthy eating and tobacco use are placing Canadian youth at risk of health problems such as increased levels of overweight and obesity, cardiovascular disease, cardiometabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes. The voice of youth is crucial to advancing solutions that contribute to effective strategies to improve youth health outcomes. The problem, however, is that youth/student voices are overlooked, and stakeholders engage in decision-making without involving youth. In Prince Edward Island, the Comprehensive School Health Research Group at the University of Prince Edward Island, in partnership with government departments, NGOs, community organizations, school boards, and schools, conducted focus groups and workshops with students to discuss youth perspectives on health issues and health promotion. The key themes that emerged included: 1) lack of student voices at all levels; 2) youth health issues such as lack of opportunities to be physically active, cost and quality of healthy food options, and bullying; 3) facilitators and barriers to health promotion, including: positive peer and adult role models, positive relationships with adults, competitiveness of school sports, and lack of motivation. Our findings suggest that when youth voices are heard and youth are actively engaged, there will be many successes. Attention needs to be paid to inclusive knowledge exchange practices that value and integrate youth perspectives and ideas as a basis for building health promotion actions and interventions.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Lecture)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/1859
Item ID: 1859
Department(s): Grenfell Campus > CU Expo 2013
Date: 15 June 2013
Date Type: Completion
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