Margarida Gaspar de Matos
Lisbon University, Portugal
Posters-Accepted Abstracts: J Psychol Abnorm Child
Recent policy frameworks are increasingly encouraging youth participation to be central for addressing youth real needs and well-being. However, little has been done so far in regarding these commitments. This presentation introduces the Dream Teen�??s project which involved 90 Portuguese youth from 11 to 18 years old from all over the country and provided a framework for their voices to be heard and support of their participation across a variety of contexts and policy areas. The aim of this presentation is to better understand the scope, nature, preliminary impacts and outcomes of the Dream Teen�??s Project by particularly capturing youth experiences on participatory research, satisfaction and engagement attitudes and behaviors. This youth led network was trained in basic research skills in the area of health, health behaviors and health promotion and communication and group dynamic techniques. Afterwards they were able to comment on a European wide health survey and their quotes included in the international report. Nationally they were able to attract media attention through national newspapers and national TV and they manage to be heard by the national government. One year after, right in the middle of the project, they report feeling more responsible, more competent, more autonomous, healthier, happier and more powerful. The next step is to create a national association of youth led research in the area of health promotion with a voice regarding national public policies. A set of recommendations that derived from the youth research actions in their communities will be presented.