Ohio University

Voinovich School professionals co-author Health Education and Behavior article

Dr. Holly Raffle, Ohio University’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs professor, recently co-authored an article alongside research associates Aimee Collins and Dr. Jessica Collura, which was published in Health Education and Behavior. Haley Kennedy, an Ohio University alumnae and former Voinovich Undergraduate Research Scholar, also collaborated on the article.

“Creating Spaces for Young People to Collaborate to Create Community Change: Ohio’s Youth-Led Initiative,” details how young people can be leaders or partners in community change initiatives, rather than just recipients of services. 

The paper is one of 12 featured articles in a special edition of Health Education and Behavior, “Collaborating for Equity and Justice.” This edition was funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the nation’s largest philanthropy dedicated to health. The papers discuss collaborative initiatives that address social and economic injustice, structural change, and community organizing to facilitate power and ownership. 

Health Education & Behavior is a peer-reviewed, bi-monthly journal of the Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE). The journal provides empirical research, case studies, program evaluations, literature reviews, and discussions of theories of health behavior and health status, and strategies to improve social and behavioral health. HE&B examines the processes of planning, implementing, managing, and assessing health education and social-behavioral interventions.

Abstract: Scholars and researchers are increasingly calling attention to the need for community-based coalitions to become more inclusive of local residents and engage those most directly affected by the issues. One population, however, often remains the recipient of services as opposed to partners or leaders in community change initiatives: youth. Over the past several years in Ohio, adults convening and facilitating youth-led programs have been transforming their work by utilizing the Youth Empowerment Conceptual Framework and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Strategic Prevention Framework to empower young people and ensure their equitable participation in community change efforts. This article provides an overview of Ohio’s statewide youth-led initiative, highlighting how adult allies engaged young people in a data-driven strategic planning process and intentionally selected and implemented strategies designed to affect the health of their local communities. 

Full Article [PDF]