Adolescents encouraging healthy lifestyles through a peer-led social marketing intervention: Training and key competencies learned by peer leaders

Elisabet Llaurado, Magaly Aceves Martins, Jordi Prades, Maria Besora-Moreno, Ignasi Papell-Garcia , Montse Giralt, Amy Davies, Lucia Tarro* (Corresponding Author), Rosa Sola

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background
Adolescents who participate as peer leaders can benefit and acquire competencies from their peer leadership experience.
Objectives
To identify the competencies gained by adolescents who participated as peer leaders in a healthy lifestyle study and to determine whether the training characteristics were related to improvement in competencies.
Design
The present study was part of the European Youth Tackling Obesity (EYTO) project, a multicentre social marketing intervention involving four European countries.
Setting and Participants
Eighteen peer leaders (aged 13–15 years, three or five leaders per country) from disadvantaged neighbourhoods received training in designing and implementing activities for their peers.
Measures
The peer leaders' confidence, experience and interest in 11 tasks related to lifelong learning competencies were assessed with questions rated on a colour scale at baseline and at the end of the study.
Results
The peer leaders demonstrated improvements in experience, confidence and interest in different tasks, such as research, website or logo design, oral presentations, social media use and collaboration with people from other countries. They increased their confidence in management tasks (p = 0.03) and their confidence and experience in communication tasks (p = 0.01). The peer leaders from Spain and Portugal had greater improvements than those from the other countries.
Conclusion
The peer leaders improved their confidence in management tasks and their confidence and experience in communication tasks. Slight differences were detected in improvement in competencies by country, likely due to the differences in the peer training applied. Recommendations for peer leader training are proposed, although these results should be verified with larger sample size.
Patient or Public Contribution
The peer leaders contributed to the design and implementation of the training and intervention.
Original languageEnglish
JournalHealth Expectations
Early online date22 Dec 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 Dec 2021

Keywords

  • adolescent
  • education
  • health education
  • health promotion
  • lifestyle

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