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Conceptualization of advocacy among adolescents with disabilities and chronic illnesses

Winter, Elizabeth A. (2018) Conceptualization of advocacy among adolescents with disabilities and chronic illnesses. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Adolescence is a turbulent time for most people, and it is accompanied by many transitions. Many adolescents will transition into post-secondary education and/or employment. All adolescents must transition into adult medical care and adult life. Adolescents with disabilities go through these same transitional periods, and literature supports that knowledge of advocacy and practice with advocacy skills can ease these transition processes. However, gaps remain surrounding evidence-based interventions for advocacy building. The primary goal of this research was to investigate how adolescents with disabilities think about and understand advocacy and advocacy skills. Adolescents were recruited from Children’s Hospital Advisory Network for Guidance and Empowerment (CHANGE), which is a youth-led initiative based out of Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC that focuses on medical transition and leadership development for youth with disabilities and/or chronic illnesses. Additionally, adult mentors who are all members of a highly active community advocacy group and are all individuals living with disabilities/chronic illnesses were recruited as a comparison sample. This was a mixed-methods exploratory study that investigated the understanding of advocacy and advocacy skills among groups of adults and adolescents living with disabilities and/or chronic illnesses. Cultural domain analysis and validated surveys were the principle methods used with each sample. The public health significance of this work lies in the cultural models surrounding the concepts of advocacy developed from these populations and the novel adaptation of cultural domain analysis methodology. Accommodations were made to the research protocol for it to be accessible to any willing participant, regardless of their level of ability. This broadened the application of this mixed methods approach and allowed for more diverse voices to be included.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Winter, Elizabeth A.eaw89@pitt.edueaw89
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Thesis AdvisorHawk, Marymary.hawk@pitt.edumeh96
Committee MemberElias, Thistleelias@pitt.eduelias
Committee MemberMiller, Elizabethelizabeth.miller@chp.eduelm114
Committee MemberMorrow, Sarah Elizabethsarah.morrow2@chp.edusem192
Date: 20 September 2018
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 3 July 2018
Approval Date: 20 September 2018
Submission Date: 21 July 2018
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 79
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Behavioral and Community Health Sciences
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: advocacy, disabilities, disability, chronic illness, adolescent, mentorship, cultural domain analysis
Date Deposited: 20 Sep 2018 20:42
Last Modified: 20 Sep 2018 20:42


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