MyVoice text-message surveys often blend the personal and the political. We ask youth to share their thoughts and opinions on the events unfolding around them. In the months leading up to the 2016 U.S. Presidential Elections, we asked a series of questions about the state of their mental health and wellbeing, in the context of the political environment and U.S. politics. We asked those same questions in the months after Election and Inauguration Day.
For about half of the over 1,500 MyVoice participants, the 2016 election was their first voting-eligible presidential race. For the other half, those under 18, they still articulated strong opinions on the state of politics and the political direction of the country.
To find out what they had to say, see “It’s not just you – politics is stressing out America’s youth” a February 2018 Conversation piece written by Melissa DeJonckheere and Tammy Chang. It’s Creative Commons-licensed, so feel free to republish and share the piece! You can also download their full-text academic paper, published in the journal Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health here.
Team Lead/Lead Author: Melissa DeJonckheere, PhD
Paper Citation: Dejonckheere M, Fisher A, Chang T. How has the presidential election affected young Americans? Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health. 2018;12(1). doi:10.1186/s13034-018-0214-7.
Transgender youth experience high rates of violence and harassment and are often required by their school to use restrooms that are at odds with their gender. The voice of youth has been underrepresented in national conversations about bathroom policies for transgender individuals, and a new MyVoice project, led by a trans-positive resident obstetrician-gynecologist Halley Crissman, brights to light what youth really think about state and school bathroom policies. Drawing on real-time text message responses from 240 MyVoice participants, Halley and her research team concluded that seven in 10 youth supported transgender individuals using the restroom corresponding to their gender identity. Contrary to popular media rhetoric, only a small minority expressed concern that people pretending to be transgender would harass bathroom users. Her findings offer an opportunity for policy makers to consider youth perspectives in bathroom use policies. Halley recently presented the work at the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine conference in Seattle, Washington. A summary of her presentation was published in the February 2018 supplementary issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health. A full manuscript, in the area of LGBTQ health, is forthcoming.
Presentations and Publications
How Has the Presidential Election Affected Young Americans?
Dejonckheere M, Fisher A, Chang T. How has the presidential election affected young Americans? Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health. 2018;12(1). doi:10.1186/s13034-018-0214-7.
Youth Perspectives on Transgender Bathroom Use Policies
Crissman HP, Czuhajewski C, Moniz M, Plegue M, Chang T. Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine Annual Meeting, Seattle, Washington. May 2018.