A key aspect of promoting adolescent health at the community level is collecting the necessary data to prioritize, raise awareness and support local programs and policies. Since 2006, EDC has supported data-driven improvements in adolescent health and risk behaviours through its administration of the MetroWest Adolescent Health Survey, funded by the MetroWest Health Foundation.
Administered twice a year to more than 40,000 middle and high school youth in 25 communities west of Boston, the survey collects data on health and risk behaviours, including substance use, bullying, mental health, violence, sexual behaviours and physical activity. It also captures data on emerging and evolving behaviours in the adolescent population, such as social media use, prescription drug abuse (including opioids), and vaping, and identifies health disparities experienced by groups such as LGBTQ youth and youth with disabilities.
Within this project, the role of the EDC includes the following activities:
Administer the MetroWest Adolescent Health Survey. Past surveys have been collected every two years from 2006 to 2018, and planning is underway for a 2021 survey (delayed one year due to COVID-19).
Analyse results and share local findings with school and community partners who use results to inform programs and policies.
Provide tailored technical assistance to communities to maximize their use of local data to inform education, prevention, and intervention efforts.
Conduct regional data analyses to inform the field of adolescent health through conference presentations and peer-reviewed journal publications.
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