Needs Assessment Instrument

Needs Assessment Instrument

The needs assessment instrument/tool that the program coordinators of Girls Inc. will utilize is a scale survey to determine whether the adolescent girls being surveyed face depression or have a high risk for depression. The survey consists of 18 different questions and will be randomly distributed to 100 girls, within the ages of 14 to 18, at Thomas Riley High School in Los Angeles. The coordinators will be selecting participants through a random digit dialing method, with 25 girls from each grade, to take the survey. Each question allots for a choice from four answer options that are each worth points, with the highest starting at 3 to the lowest ending at 0. A high score from a survey will inform the staff that the adolescent is very likely to have depression. The coordinators will go out and distribute this survey personally and administer it to respective classrooms. The survey will be given primarily in English, with an additional Spanish translation copy for students whose first language is Spanish. Based on the results, the program coordinators will then administer a program to 30 students, who held the highest scores on the surveys at Thomas Riley High School, which is noted to have the highest dropout rate for females (21.8%), from grades 9-12, within the Los Angeles Unified School District from the school year 2016-2017. The program will also be administered to Central High School within the same district, which ranks the second highest in dropout rates for females (20.3%), from grades 9-12 from the same school year.

Needs Assessment Paper

The survey mentioned as the coordinator’s needs assessment instrument/tool will be used to gather primary data for the new program. Based on secondary research, depression in adolescents is of dire concern. Coordinators will focus on a primary population of adolescent females, aged 14 to 18, specifically from Thomas Riley High School in Los Angeles. The reason for focusing on adolescent females in Los Angeles is because of the city’s environment and forefront use of technology and social media. Thomas Riley High School is also found to have the highest dropout rate for females in the Los Angeles Unified School District, as of the school year from 2016-2017. Although there may be several contributing factors as to why adolescent females drop out of high school, it is suspected that a lack of motivation, low self-esteem, and low self-worth may be core reasons. To decrease the presence of depression, adolescents must acknowledge and develop positive self-esteem, feel empowered, maintain a positive self-body image, and love for themselves. Many of the adolescents in this city lack the ability to monitor their social media use. Furthermore, these adolescents are found to be vulnerable in their health, as they are still developing physically, mentally, and emotionally. This entails hormonal changes and personal ways of dealing with social and environmental influences.

When choosing the female participants for this program, the coordinators will ensure that there is no bias in selection of participants. To prevent this, the coordinators will apply a random digit dialing method, similar to the study conducted by Lin et al. (2016). The program implemented by Girls Inc. shall also focus on the variables of social media use and depression, as well as the relationship established between the two. The coordinators shall divide the participants into two subgroups based on ages, 14 to 15 and 16 to 18. Studies have found that there is an increase in depression when adolescents hit early stages of puberty. There is a higher risk for depression onset in adolescence. Bress, Foti, Kotov, Klein, and Hajcak (2012) mention that the point prevalence increases at an early age and the cumulative prevalence reaches 10% by age 16. For this reason, having two separate subgroups will help the coordinators identify which social factors affect the females at specific ages.

The coordinators will contact the faculty of Thomas Riley High School about the survey, so to schedule a time to administer the survey and perform the random selection. The survey of 18 questions will be administered in paper, within a designated classroom at an appropriate time. The survey will be provided in languages of both English and Spanish, written at the level of understanding for the female adolescents being surveyed.

There are several different methods in treating depression currently, most of them taking an approach to Psychotherapy. In Psychotherapy, skilled therapists help individuals to identify specific goals that will enable them to find ways to cope and solve problems, while regaining a sense of happiness and control. The needs have not been addressed very well in recent years. There has been a significant climb in the prevalence of major depression among adolescents and young adults, especially in females (Bress, Foti, Kotov, Klein, and Hajcak, 2012).

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