Conceptualizing youth empowerment within tobacco control: Application of Youth Empowerment Theory to Tobacco Control
This article presents a conceptual framework that was developed to guide a national evaluation of the American Legacy Foundation’s (Legacy) Statewide Youth Movement Against Tobacco Use (SYMATU) program. This program was designed to develop youth-led, youth-directed initiatives within local communities. Two evaluation studies were designed and implemented from 2000 through 2003: a cross-site study that collected standard data elements across all 17 programs and a case study of five programs that collected formative data on variables thought to affect program implementation. In developing the youth empowerment (YE) conceptual framework, the authors started by reviewing literature to identify the concepts necessary for these types of initiatives and present a summary of their findings here. This article focuses on the development of the authors’overarching conceptual framework used to guide their evaluation studies. Other articles contained within this special issue present results from each of the SYMATU evaluation studies.