2016FallSymposiumURCreativityEngagement has ended
Tuesday, December 6 • 9:40am - 10:00am
Community Perceptions Of Academic, Social, And Health Behaviors Of Rural Adolescents

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Rural Americans engage in more risky behaviors than their urban and suburban counterparts, which lead to higher morbidity and mortality rates from preventable causes. High levels of community buy-in are critical to address the unique combination of obstacles that rural communities face. This study seeks to assess a rural community’s perception of its assets and needs in order to illuminate areas in which strategic action may be implemented to help the youth be healthy and successful. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with twenty-six community leaders, parents, and students in Western North Carolina. Key topics included academic, social, and health behaviors among youth. Preliminary analysis using a grounded theory approach to coding the interviews demonstrates strong community desire for the creation of extracurricular programs that provide academic tutoring, job preparation, and social engagement. However, barriers to transportation and safety concerns relating to violence must first be reduced in order for proposed programs to be effective. Future research should explore ways and means to increase safety within the rural community as well as make reliable transportation available.

Tuesday December 6, 2016 9:40am - 10:00am
237 Zageir Hall