What is our study about?
We’re studying the ideas of belonging and connection among young people in Grande Prairie. We define ‘belonging’ as whether young people feel valued and accepted by the people in their lives, and ‘connection’ as whether young people feel included in a group or community.
The goal of the study is to learn more about what specific factors affect belonging and connection for young people between the ages of 15 and 24 years.
Why do we want to know this?
A strong sense of belonging and connection is important for everyone, and contribute to improved mental health, healthier relationships, and success in school and careers. For young people, developing a strong sense of belonging and connection is particularly important in setting the stage for a healthy and happy life.
Community organizations and leaders want to know what young people think about belonging and connection, and how young people could be better served.
Who is doing the study?
The study is being led by faculty from Grande Prairie Regional College (GPRC), in partnership with a number of community organizations who work with youth in both places. College students and other young people from the community are working on the project as assistants and interviewers.
What will I be asked to do?
You’ll complete a 2-minute survey, and then join a one-hour focus group with other youth from the community. We'll share some of the findings from our interviews with youth, and then chat about how these fit the experience of you and your friends and peers. You’ll also be asked for recommendations about what could be done in the community to improve belonging and connection for youth.
Will I get paid to participate?
While your participation is voluntary, you will receive a $20 gift card to recognize the value of your contribution. You can choose from cards for Subway, Tim Horton’s, Starbucks or iTunes. In addition, you have the option of entering your name to be drawn for a $100 gift card to a retailer of your choice. The winner of the gift cards will be given a choice of local businesses (i.e. sporting goods, food, electronics, etc.).
What happen to my information?
- We will keep information about your identity separate from your answers in the interview.
- The information we gather will stored in a secure location at GPRC.
- Everyone working on the study has signed confidentiality agreements to ensure your information is safe and private.
- At the end of the study, results will be reported as summarized information; individual responses will not be reported.
What are the risks?
Our discussion will be general, but the topics of belonging and connection may cause uncomfortable feelings for some people. Your participation is completely voluntary, so you don't have to answer questions that you don't want to and you can leave the meeting at any time.
The focus groups will be held on Zoom, but you don't have to have your camera or mic on, if you'd rather not. You can also list a different name if you'd like to keep your identity private from other participants. Everyone participating will have to agree to maintain confidentiality before the meeting begins.
Our researchers have all been trained to listen with care and can provide you with support resources if you’d like. We’ve designed this study so that the risks of participating are not much greater than those that most young people face in their normal day-to-day lives.
What are the possible benefits?
This is an opportunity to inform local community organizations who serve young people, so they can better understand what factors affect belonging and connection and improve the services they provide. Results from the study will also contribute to our understanding of how we can build healthier communities, especially for young people.
How can I participate?
Click here to go to our survey and registration form.
Do you have more questions?
If you have any questions regarding this study or would like additional information to assist you in reaching a decision about participation, please contact our faculty researchers.
This study has been reviewed and received ethics clearance through the GPRC Research Ethics Board. If you have questions regarding the ethics review of this study, please contact the Research Ethics Board at email@example.com.