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Activity Spaces and Youth Development: Preliminary Findings from the Adolescent Health and Development in Context (AHDS) Study

"Activity Spaces and Youth Development: Preliminary Findings from the Adolescent Health and Development in Context (AHDS) Study"

Abstract: Research examining contextual influences on child health and behavior has entered a new era of possibility. The availability of mobile technology for GPS tracking and real-time assessment has opened the door to collection of far more precise data on everyday sociospatial contexts. This presentation describes the Adolescent Health and Development in Context (AHDS) project - a large scale, longitudinal study of youth in Franklin County, Ohio focused on the nature and developmental consequences of routine activity space exposures. In addition to the major research questions and theoretical approach motivating the study, I review key features of the study design: (1) cellphone-based GPS tracking over the course of a week; (2) Ecological Momentary Assessments of location, activities, network partner presence, risk behaviors, and immediate social environments several times a day during the week; (3) follow-up interview-based collection of detailed space-time budget data on five of the seven days. Preliminary results highlight the relevance of activity space exposures for understanding youth outcomes, including day-to-day variability in physiological stress (as captured by nightly measures of salivary cortisol). New technologies and data collection methods hold the potential to significantly advance understanding of contextual influences on youth health and well-being.

Thursday, April 2, 2015
4:15 p.m., 127 Moore Building