ICRW research featured in the Journal of Adolescent Health

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Anne McPherson

Vice President, Global Communications email [email protected]

Recently, a number of experts from ICRW were published in three different articles in the Journal of Adolescent Health, focusing on social norms and positive youth development.

The first, Measuring Social Norms Related to Child Marriage Among Adult Decision-Makers of Young Girls in Phalombe and Thyolo, Malawi, documents the process, results, and lessons learned from a baseline survey measuring social norms related to child marriage in two districts in Southern Malawi. The study found that, although child marriage may be indirectly perpetuated by norms related to adolescent sexuality and access to contraception, the practice may not be a social norm in the communities studied. Authors include ICRW’s Mara Steinhaus, Laura Hinson and A. Theodore Rizzo, as well as former ICRW researcher and current WomenStrong International expert Amy Gregowski. To read the full article, click here.

The second publication, a commentary entitled Social Norms Measurement: Catching up With Programs and Moving the Field Forward, delves into the current state of programs being developed to shift social norms to improve adolescent and youth sexual and reproductive health (AYSRH) outcomes and highlights the need for more rigorous, practical approaches for identifying the social norms that are influencing behaviors, measure social norm change and understand how these changes impact behavioral outcomes. Authors, among others, include ICRW’s Laura Hinson. To read the full commentary, click here.

The third publication, Positive Youth Development Programs in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: A Conceptual Framework and Systematic Review of Efficacy, explores positive youth development in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) and set out to review in-depth its impact. According to the authors, “Sixty percent of the 35 programs with rigorous evaluations demonstrated positive effects on behaviors, including substance use and risky sexual activity, and/or more distal developmental outcomes, such as employment and health indicators.” Authors include, among others, ICRW’s Chisina Kapungu, Cassandra Jessee and Meroji Sebany, as well as former ICRW experts Gina Alvarado and Suzanne Petroni. To read the full article, click here.