Street-connected adolescents in sub-Saharan Africa have been neglected in scholarly research. Extant literature is largely problem focused. This study describes strengths and assets among street-connected youth in Tanzania, using a participatory, mixed methods approach. Adolescents (N = 38, 13-17 years) in a rehabilitation center for street youth in Northern Tanzania completed a Swahili version of the Developmental Assets Profile (DAP). They engaged in participatory activities designed to capture multiple perspectives and promote maximal engagement. A subsample of youth (n = 8) took part in photovoice to elucidate contextual details. Although exploratory, we expected (a) participants would have lower scores on the external versus internal domain of the DAP; (b) qualitative methods would support the DAP and provide complementary, contextual information; and (c) participatory methods would be important for providing varied perspectives and engaging youth in the research process. Results revealed a moderately high level of assets, with strengths in constructive use of time and commitment to school. External assets were higher than internal assets; however, different assets were emphasized across different methods. Overall, results supported the DAP framework. The participatory approaches effectively engaged youth and illuminated the culture and context of their development.
- developmental assets
- participatory methods
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science