Extension Service professionals working with the Children, Youth, and Families At-Risk Initiative and Evaluation Collaboration Project has resulted in the cataloguing of well over 100 such measurement instruments, with separate work groups focusing on outcomes for children, youth, the family, and the community. This information was created for use by those engaged in USDA-supported State Strengthening community projects, a major community development program.
As part of this project, the Youth National Outcome Work Group identified multiple available instruments for the following outcome areas:
Risk behaviors: risk-taking, substance abuse, sexual activity, academic risk, delinquency, and violence.
Social competencies: social competence, relationships, conflict resolution, decision making, social responsibility, communication, goal setting, problem solving, social and environmental navigation, and valuing diversity.
The workgroup produced a searchable database, available on-line,5 which includes the following information for each instrument: name, author, basic description, scales and subscales in the instrument, psychometric information (reliability and validity), notable advantages and disadvantages, cost, contact information, and references. A separate work group focused on the family is producing a similar set of reviews for measures related to parent and family well-being. Some of the measures they have collected are directly applicable to the families of adolescents. These work groups are now disbanded, but their work continues to be a valuable resource.
National surveys that focus on aspects of youth development have a number of strengths that make them good potential sources of measures that may be appropriated for use at the local level. First, these surveys are all well designed by some of the nation’s top researchers. Second, they offer the possibility of a national benchmark against which localities can compare their own status. Third, and perhaps most important,
The web site is located at <http://ag.arizona.edu/fcr/fs/nowg/index.html>/.