Percent of adolescents who feel “connected” with their parents/family
The degree to which adolescents feel “connected“ with their parents/family
Evaluators measure connections in terms of the closeness of relationships between adolescents and parents or other adult family members or caretakers.
This indicator is calculated as:
(# of adolescents who report feeling connected to their parents/families/Total # of adolescents) x 100
Responses to survey questions on the degree of family “connectedness“ among adolescents. Evaluators may include the following types of items in indices of connectedness:
- Parents or other adult family members spend time with adolescents;
- Adolescents perceive “closeness“ with parents or other adult family members;
- Adolescents perceive that they can approach parents or other adult family members with problems;
- Adolescents perceive that their parents and families care about them;
- Parents or other adult family members help with homework (for youth attending school);
- Adolescents feel comfortable talking with parents or other adult family members; and
- Adolescents perceive that they are important to their parents.
Evaluators may want to disaggregate by the following age ranges: 10-14, 15-19, and 20-24.
Surveys of program participants or youth in the program‘s intended population
Studies in both the U.S. and developing countries have shown that feeling “connected“ with parents and/or adult family members protects adolescents against risky sexual behaviors and thus against adverse sexual and reproductive health outcomes (Resnick et al., 1997). This indicator thus measures the degree of connections between adolescents in the program‘s intended population and their parents/families. For diagnostic purposes, the indicator measures the percent of adolescents in the program‘s intended population that may be vulnerable to negative influences and to adverse outcomes. In settings where the level of connectedness is low, programs for parents and/or the provision of alternative mentors may be called for. In such programs, evaluators may also use the indicator as an intermediate outcome indicator to measure improvements in the social environment for adolescents in the program‘s intended population.