New measures to assess the social ecology of youth: A mixed-methods study.

Academic Article


  • OBJECTIVE: This project used mixed methods to expand the understanding of social ecological constructs important to youth and develop measures to assess these constructs. METHODS: Eight focus groups and 24 cognitive interviews were conducted with adolescents and caregivers. These were followed by a survey completed by 440 youth ages 10-21 (average age: 16.38, standard deviation[SD] = 3.04). RESULTS: Qualitative data revealed social ecological constructs that have received little prior research attention. These include three psychosocial strengths: relational motivation (inspiration from key adults), group connectedness (bonded to others in teams or organizations), and mattering (knowing your importance to significant others). One outcome was also identified: family well-being (subjective psychological functioning of the family). Psychometric analyses indicated that the new quantitative measures have good to excellent reliability and validity. IMPLICATIONS: The social ecology is complex and extends beyond commonly studied constructs such as social support and collective efficacy. More comprehensive assessments can further research.
  • Authors

  • Hamby, Sherry
  • Taylor, Elizabeth
  • Smith, Alli
  • Mitchell, Kimberly
  • Jones, Lisa
  • Newlin, Chris
  • Status

    Publication Date

  • September 2019
  • Published In


  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Caregivers
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Male
  • Motivation
  • Parent-Child Relations
  • Resilience, Psychological
  • Social Environment
  • Social Networking
  • United States
  • Young Adult
  • adolescence
  • connectedness
  • resilience
  • social ecology
  • strengths
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 31332818
  • Start Page

  • 1666
  • End Page

  • 1681
  • Volume

  • 47
  • Issue

  • 7