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What statewide surveys know about our kids

Updated: Jun 5, 2022

Release date: March 21, 2022

In this episode, I talk with Wendy Wolfersteig - Director of Evaluation and Partner Contracts at the Southwest Interdisciplinary Research Center (SIRC) at Arizona State University - about what we know about kids from statewide surveys like the Arizona Youth Survey (AYS). Although the AYS is specific to Arizona, I believe that its findings are consistent with national trends. A link to the most recent AYS report is listed below in case you want to follow along as Wendy and I discuss the data. We also answer a listener's question about bullying prevention.

Biography of Wendy Wolfersteig

Dr. Wendy L. Wolfersteig serves as Director of Evaluation and Partner Contracts at the Southwest Interdisciplinary Research Center (SIRC) at ASU and is a research associate professor in the School of Social Work. For over 20 years, her work in substance abuse prevention and evaluation in Arizona has focused on the use of effective evidence-based strategies and data-driven decision-making. She leads her team in working collaboratively with state, county, city and local partners to design and perform evaluations, provide trainings and disseminate findings aimed at preventing, reducing and eliminating health disparities.

Her community based participatory research addresses health equity with underserved populations and diverse subgroups. Specifically, this includes research on effects stemming from risk and protective factors around substance use, social determinants of health, and traumatic childhood and adult experiences. Recent community-based projects evaluate county and state opioid prevention programs; collect and analyze data on social and health needs of target groups including the impacts of Covid-19 on Latino, American Indian and African Americans in Arizona; and test the efficacy of a child abuse and neglect curriculum for preK to 12th grade students.

Dr. Wolfersteig currently serves as a member of the Arizona Substance Abuse Partnership’s Arizona Program Inventory Workgroup and previously served as member and chair of its Substance Abuse Epidemiology Workgroup. She is an appointed member of the City of Phoenix, Fast-Track Cities Initiative Ad-Hoc Committee. She served for four years on the board of the Arizona Evaluation Network (AZENet) and received the 2021 Allison Titcomb Award for outstanding service to AZENet and the profession.

Arizona Youth Survey


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