Including teenager perspectives in the development of adolescent health research is important to ensure the research reflects the preferences and needs of the teen population. The Adolescent Health Network (AHN) provides a framework for health researchers to connect with teens about their research ideas, activities, and outcomes, with the goal of creating research that is more relevant to teens and their health. High schools join the AHN and identify teens who participate in a brief training and participate in virtual meetings with researchers 5-6 times throughout a school year. If you are a school representative, a teen, or a health researcher, read more below to find out how to get involved!
For Schools and Teens:
The AHN functions similarly to a school club. Each participating school will appoint one advisor who recruits students, facilitates communication between the project team and students when necessary, and protects their students’ time to participate in sessions.
Adolescents are not asked to participate in research. Instead, they serve as a stakeholder, or “teen expert” by using their voices to improve health research impacting their peers. Students complete brief training requirements to gain a basic understanding of the research process, aiming to improve their confidence and prepare them to serve in the stakeholder role. The benefits for active students include:
- The opportunity to influence the scientific process
- Exposure to STEM/health-related topics and health careers
- Networking opportunities with health researchers and adolescents statewide
- The ability to request a letter of recommendation for college/career purposes
Interested in bringing this opportunity to your school? Submit an inquiry by accessing this link: https://redcap.link/AHNSchool_Inqury
For Health Researchers:
Health researchers conducting studies with adolescent populations are encouraged to plan a session with the AHN. Typical discussion topics include study design, study planning, recruitment strategy, and dissemination strategy. Our project team works closely with each health researcher to plan for the one-hour virtual session. Additionally, researchers have access to:
- Community-engaged research training
- Strategies to engage teens in the session
- Templates for planning session agendas and content
Interested in hosting a session? Submit an inquiry by accessing this link: https://redcap.link/AHN_ResearcherInquiry
View our Adolescent Health Network Toolkit.
This program is funded through the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI®)