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Youth Advocacy as a Tool for Environmental and Policy Changes That Support Physical Activity and Nutrition: An Evaluation Study in San Diego County

Group Structure (Evaluation Activities)

— Decision-making process

— Relationships to existing programs

— Opportunities for involvement

— Support, training & resources available

— Incentives

Predisposing Youth Characteristics (Evaluation Activities) (Ecological Context)

— Demographics

— Reasons for participating

— History of similar involvement

— Readiness to advocate

Individual Change (Evaluation Activities)

— Change in youth's psychological empowerment

— Intentions to remain involved

— Changes in youths' own active living/healthy eating behaviors

Ultimate Outcome

— Youth becomes a social change agent/citizen advocate

Adult Involvement (Evaluation Activities)

— COI training

— Adult characteristics

— Parental support

— Funding agency support (eg, COI) and acknowledgment

Collective Participation (Evaluation Activities) (Ecological Context)

— Level and intensity of participation

— Duration of participation

— Roles played within group

Community Change (Evaluation Activities)

— Change in community awareness and opinions

— Change in policymaker receptivity

— Increased number and type of active living/healthy eating related activities

— Increased active living/healthy eating opportunities

Ultimate Outcome

— Policy change

— Reductions in obesity-related disease risk

Group Climate (Evaluation Activities)

— Group resiliency

— Group cohesion

— Group members' shared beliefs

— Group's belief in positive outcome

Group Change (Evaluation Activities)

— Activities are completed as planned

— Activities are effective in achieving outcomes

— Resources are mobilized

— Members are maintained and satisfied

Ultimate Outcome

— Group sustains itself

— Policy change

Figure 1. Youth-engagement framework based on a framework for an evaluation of the Statewide Youth Movement Against Tobacco Use, a multi-state youth advocacy program in tobacco control (6). Abbreviation: COI, San Diego County Childhood Obesity Initiative.

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Schematic of timeline. The timeline has 5 components: Scan, Program, Youth, Adult Group Leader, and Decision Maker. The timeline progresses in the following order: adult group leader baseline survey, group begins, youth baseline survey, adult group leader mid-course survey, group ends, youth postsurvey, adult group leader postsurvey, decision-maker interviews, and policy and environmental change scan. Technical assistance tracking log takes place from the beginning to the end of the group.

Figure 2. Timetable for San Diego County YEAH! Evaluation, 2011–2013.

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The opinions expressed by authors contributing to this journal do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Public Health Service, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or the authors' affiliated institutions.

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