The second step
in the prevention planning process is to identify the risk factors
that increase the likelihood of ATOD problems and antisocial behaviors
in your locality or Health Planning Region (HPR), as well as the protective
factors that are known to buffer the influence of those risk factors.
An examination of the prevalence of the 25 risk factors and the 10
protective factors measured in the Community Youth Survey, as well
as the 9 risk factors identified in the Social Indicator Study, can
help you prioritize prevention efforts in your locality or HPR.
You might see
some discrepancies between the risk and protective factor results
from the Community Youth Survey and the Social Indicator Study. One
cause of these discrepancies is that different methods were used to
collect Community Youth Survey information and social indicator information,
and these different methods are subject to different biases. Community
Youth Survey information is collected through self-reports, which
rely on the respondents' ability to remember, and which are vulnerable
to self-presentation bias (that is, people tend to present themselves
in the best possible light). Local laws and policies may influence
social indicator information. For example, arrest data are subject
to local law enforcement policies. Although the Community Youth Survey
is a more direct measure of ATOD use and risk and protective factors,
social indicator information may be a more objective measure.
Survey Risk Factors for Community Domain
Social Indicator Risk Profile
of discrepancies is the sensitivity of the measures used. In some
cases, the Community Youth Survey scales were more sensitive measures
of a particular risk factor. The Community Youth Survey results in
36 scales derived from 129 questions, while the Social Indicator Study
results in 14 scales derived from 42 indicators. For example, the
risk factor availability of drugs is measured in the Social
Indicator Study based on the number of retail alcohol sales outlets,
yearly net sales of alcohol, and yearly rates of retail tobacco sales
per 100,000 population. The Community Youth Survey risk factor scale
for availability of drugs is based on surveyed youths' responses
to questions designed to measure their perceptions of how easy or
difficult it would be for them to obtain various types of ATODs. (See
the sample charts.)
The studies also
used different methods to identify risk factors. The Community Youth
Survey determined risk factor prevalence based on objective
scale cutoff scores, and the Social Indicator Study assessed risk
factors based on how data for the locality compared to the state average.
To resolve these
discrepancies at the local level, you may want to ask community stakeholders
and key informants for additional information. For example, you might
determine that early initiation of antisocial behavior is a
priority risk factor based on the Community Youth Survey, but the
scale is not above the Commonwealth average, based on arrest data
from the Social Indicator Study. It would be important to know if
your community's enforcement efforts are consistent with enforcement
efforts targeting juvenile offenses in other Virginia localities.
As you examine
your information derived from the Social Indicator Study and the Community
Youth Survey, you are attempting to answer the question, "What
are the priority risk and protective factors in my community?"
To obtain your answer, address the following:
risk factors in your community are higher than the state average?
protective factors are lower than the state average?
youth in the middle-school age group exposed to certain risk factors
in your community?
youth in the high-school age group exposed to certain risk factors
in your community?
risk factors are the most prevalent in your community? Which
risk factors do you have the ability to reduce or eliminate?
Can these risk factors be addressed by a prevention program
you can implement?
you identify a cluster of risk factors that are related and can
be addressed together by a prevention program?
protective factors are low in your community? Can they be enhanced
by a prevention program you can implement?
review your locality or HPR risk factor information from the Social
Indicator Study, select your locality or HPR of interest using the
pull-down menu below. Then, return here to Step 2.
Indicator Risk Profile:
Indicator Risk Profile by HPR:
To review your
HPR risk factor information from the Community Youth Survey, select
your locality of interest using the pull-down menu below. Then, return
here to Step 2.
Youth Survey Risk Factors by Region:
To review your
HPR protective factor information from the Community Youth Survey,
select your locality of interest using the pull-down menu below. Then,
return here to Step 2.
Youth Survey Protective Factors by Region:
Based on your
examination of the information from the Social Indicator Study and
the Community Youth Survey, and your responses to the questions above,
what are the priority risk and protective factors in your community?
Write down this information, and move on to Step
3: Identifying and Implementing Interventions.
return to the top of the tutorial home page, click