The Comal County Needs Assessment Youth Survey

Duncan G Hughes, The University of Texas School of Public Health


A crucial link in preserving and protecting the future of our communities resides in maintaining the health and well being of our youth. While every member of the community owns an opinion regarding where to best utilize monies for prevention and intervention, the data to support such opinion is often scarce. In an effort to generate data-driven indices for community planning and action, the United Way of Comal County, Texas partnered with the University Of Texas - Houston Health Science Center, School Of Public Health to accomplish a county-specific needs assessment. A community-based participatory research emphasis utilizing the Mobilization for Action through Planning and Partnership (MAPP) format developed by the National Association of City and County Health Officials (NACCHO) was implemented to engage community members in identifying and addressing community priorities. The single greatest area of consensus and concern identified by community members was the health and well being of the youth population. Thus, a youth survey, targeting these specific areas of community concern, was designed, coordinated and administered to all 9-11th grade students in the county. 20% of the 3,698 completed surveys (72% response rate) were randomly selected for analysis. These 740 surveys were coded and scanned into an electronic survey database. Statistical analysis provided youth-reported data on the status of the multiple issues affecting the health and well being of the community's youth. These data will be reported back to the community stakeholders, as part of the larger Comal County Needs Assessment, for the purposes of community planning and action. Survey data will provide community planners with an awareness of the high risk behaviors and habit patterns amongst their youth. This knowledge will permit more effective targeting of the means for encouraging healthy behaviors and preventing the spread of disease. Further, the community-oriented, population-based nature of this effort will provide answers to questions raised by the community and will provide an effective launching pad for the development and implementation of targeted, preventive health strategies.

Subject Area

Public health

Recommended Citation

Hughes, Duncan G, "The Comal County Needs Assessment Youth Survey" (2008). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1454657.