How do Young People Think About and Leverage Social Connectedness?
In our Social Support Research Fellowship – a partnership with the Annie E. Casey Foundation – we worked with four youth fellows to help us understand how young people think about and leverage social connectedness in their lives. Social support is a critically important determinant of future health, education, and overall well-being for young people. This research will help us create new solutions to strengthen social connectedness for young people and help them leverage it more effectively to learn, grow, and eventually reach their dreams.
While the project has produced a number of fascinating, we picked out these four to demonstrate the breadth of topics discussed. Our fellows met with more than a dozen young people for in-depth interviews, and surveyed another 44 young people to help validate findings. This project is a pilot to test this collaborative research methodology before scaling it out for research on a broader, representative level. Check out our infographic below, or visit the Fellowship page here to read our two-page brief and our complete summary report.
This research is using PARTNERme, a person-centered network tool, to help measure and visualize their social support networks. Each youth participant took a short screener that asked about the things they need help with, like school work, food, mental health, and other issues. We also asked who they go to for help in their lives to support them with these needs. This method allows us to take a targeted exploration to understand what the system of supports look from from their own perspective. You can learn more about using PARTNERme to measure social connectedness for research and for practice below.