Case Study on CHOICE Regional Health Network Focus Groups

In 2022, the CHOICE Regional Health Network Youth Marijuana Prevention and Education Program approached Adam F.C. Fletcher to facilitate focus groups across Southwest Washington. Planning the project in conjunction with the program manager, Adam co-designed the project, vetted the questions, helped promote the focus groups to participating organizations, and established the research protocols for the project. After gaining approval for the project from the Human Research Review Section at the Washington State Department of Health and Human Services, Adam led the implementation of the process.

Planning 14 focus groups, Adam guided the site selection for the project towards historically non-traditionally engaged youth. In the seven counties of southwest Washington, this includes LBGTTQQI youth, American Indian youth, youth recovering from addictions in a court-ordered treatment facility, extremely rural youth, extremely low-income youth, and other young people who often don’t get to share youth voice with adults.

As part of a research project focused solely on program improvement, the questions covered three areas: Community, Marijuana and Peers. Subsets of the questions focused on the young peoples’ experiences of youth voice, relationships with adults, perspectives of peers and self, and more. The process for each site was split into four activities, including 1) a training for adult advisors; 2) a training for a youth co-facilitator who worked with me on each focus group; 3) facilitating each focus group, and; 4) working with the youth co-facilitator and the adult advisor for each group to aggregate the data and to conduct a preliminary analysis of the findings. The training for youth co-facilitators and adult advisors emphasized the principles of youth/adult partnerships and anti-adultist behaviors.

Each youth co-facilitator was paid for their time, as was each youth participant in a focus group.

The completion of the project included a summative report of preliminary findings and a report on participants and their participation in the project. All raw data and basic data were delivered upon completion.

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