Our Research Projects

Qualitative Study of Gender-Affirming Surgery Experiences in British Columbia

We are a team of health researchers from the University of British Columbia working in partnership with the Trans Care BC program at the Provincial Health Services Authority to improve the delivery of services to trans people who are interested in accessing gender-affirming surgeries. The Principal Investigator of this project is Dr. Elizabeth Saewyc (Elizabeth.saewyc@ubc.ca). […]

Survey of Trans Canadians’ Experiences with Gender-Affirming Surgery –Invitation to Participate

Survey of Trans Canadians’ Experiences with Gender-Affirming Surgery –Invitation to Participate

The Survey of Trans Canadians’ Experiences with Gender-Affirming Surgery is a completely anonymous online survey for adults who have had a readiness assessment or gender affirming surgery(ies) in the last 5 years. You can take the survey here: www.survey.ubc.ca/s/trans-surgery-experiences/  

Vancouver Technical High School Wellness Initiative

Vancouver Technical High School Wellness Initiative

In collaboration with Vancouver Technical High School, SARAVYC researchers, led by Dr. Sheila Marshall  is evaluating their School Wellness Initiative. A Steering committee (called WIN) was created by the school and guides the project. WIN, the administration, students, teachers, and counselors were consulted about what wellness means for their school. A survey was constructed from consultations and administered […]

Girl2Girl: Harnessing text messaging to reduce teenage pregnancy among LGB girls

Despite compelling data that lesbian and bisexual women are at risk for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), programs tailored to the unique needs of adolescent lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) women continue to be nonexistent. Perhaps not surprisingly, LGB women’s perceptions of HIV/STI and pregnancy risk is low, even though they report higher rates of sexual […]

Veale J, Saewyc E, Frohard-Dourlent H, Dobson S, Clark B & the Canadian Trans Youth Health Survey Research Group (2015). Being Safe, Being Me: Results of the Canadian Trans Youth Health Survey. Vancouver, BC: Stigma and Resilience Among Vulnerable Youth Centre, School of Nursing, University of British Columbia

Read in English Read in French A new national study by SARAVYC shows that while Canada’s transgender youth face significant physical and mental health issues, strong family, school and community connections are helping many of them navigate these challenges. The study, funded by the Canadian Institute for Health Research and completed in collaboration with universities […]

Creighton G., Shumay S., Moore E., Saewyc E. (2014). Capturing the wisdom and the resilience: How the Pinnacle Program fosters connections for alternative high school students. Vancouver: Stigma and Resilience Among Vulnerable Youth Centre, University of British Columbia.

The Pinnacle Program is a joint partnership between the Vancouver Board of Education and the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD–the Provincial Ministry responsive for child protection) which provides grades 11 and 12 secondary education for adolescents. The Pinnacle Program is an innovative educational model that provides low barrier access for youth who wish […]

Evaluation of North Shore Public Health Nurses’ Child and Youth School-Linked Practice

As a means to improve youth health, the BC Government introduced the Healthy Schools Strategy, based on a comprehensive school health framework. In Vancouver Coastal Health, the North Shore Public Health Nursing Child & Youth Team developed plans to provide school nursing in all 12 public high schools in West Vancouver and North Vancouver (School […]

Understanding Health Risks and Promoting Resilience in Male Youth with Sexual Violence Experience

In 2015, SARAVYC will join a team of researchers seeking to increase health knowledge about and improve services for male youth who have experienced sexual violence.The CIHR funded grant, led by Principal Investigator Christine Wekerle of McMaster University, will target Aboriginal youth health (mental health resilience) as well as the engagement of youths’ in violence prevention. The research will also […]

Homelessness Partnering Strategy

The partnership between St Paul’s Hospital Inner City Youth Mental Health Program (ICYMHP), Covenant House Vancouver (CHV), Coast Mental Health (CMH) and BC Housing (a subsidiary of the Ministry of Social Development) has lead to providing housing and psychiatric services to at-risk, street involved youth (17-24) in Vancouver’s downtown core. The partnership’s delivery model is […]

Transience Project

Health inequities among street-involved youth are often theorized in the literature to be due to transience, which disconnects them from social capital; however, transience has been variously defined and seldom directly studied in health research. Using the BC 2006 Street Youth Survey, we are measuring geographical transience (the movement between cities or regions) and residential transience (numbers of […]

The 10-Question Tool for Police to Screen Runaways for Safety and Referral

An evaluation of the first 2 years’ use by the St. Paul’s MN police (n=300 reports) found that nearly 1 in 5 girls had been sexually assaulted while they had been on the run; most of them were referred to and received healthcare services. This novel intersectoral approach to screening via law enforcement helps identify, […]

Childhood Sexual Abuse, Substance Use and Substance-Use Related Sexual Behaviour in a Rural School Population

“Best Poster” Award at the Issues of Substance Conference, Vancouver 2011 Principal Investigator(s): Dr. Elizabeth Saewyc Co-Investigators: Dean Nicholson Funding Agency: Interior Health Authority and CIHR Completed: 2011 – 2012

It’s Not What You Think: Sexual Exploitation Among Street-Involved and Marginalized Youth in BC

This community report used responses from 1,845 youth from 5 different health surveys of street-involved and institutionalized youth conducted by the McCreary Centre Society in cities across B.C. between 2000 and 2006. Key findings were that 1 in 3 street-involved youth reported sexual exploitation, males and females were equally likely to be exploited, and LGBTQ […]

Psychometric Evaluation of Scales in the BC Adolescent Health Survey 2008

Since 1992, the BC Adolescent Health Survey has been conducted every 5 years in school districts across BC. The surveys have included a number of scales related to family and school connectedness, peer attitudes, school safety, and emotional health. In 2008, the fourth survey added some additional measures related to cultural connectedness and self-esteem. Because […]

Moving Upstream: Aboriginal Marginalized and Street-Involved Youth (Report)

Using the 2006 Street Youth Survey, this report (a collaboration between the McCreary Centre Society and the BC Child and Youth Health Research Network [CYHRNET]) specifically looked at the health of First Nations, Inuit, and Metis youth in British Columbia, as over-represented in the sample of street youth as compared to youth in public schools. […]

Identifying Effective Outreach Services for Sexually Exploited Young Women

A qualitative study of sexually exploited young women (n=14) in Minneapolis that elicited their stories about exploitation and their perspectives on how street outreach workers could best help them. Principal Investigator(s): Dr. Elizabeth Saewyc Co-Investigators: Laurel Edinburgh Funding Agency: CIHR Completed: 2009 – 2011

Enacted Stigma, Gender, and Risk Behaviours of School-Aged Youth

This mixed methods international study explores enacted stigma behaviors reported among Indigenous, Asian-ancestry, and European ancestry adolescents in Canada, New Zealand, and the US, and examines both association between enacted stigma and health risk behaviors in populations among adolescents as well as protective factors that may mediate this association. Principal Investigator(s): Dr. Elizabeth Saewyc Co-Investigators: […]

Being Heard, Being Safe: LGBTQ People Speak Out Against Violence

Principal Investigator(s): Dr. Elizabeth Saewyc Co-Investigators: Amy Fox; Cheryl Leggett; Christopher Drozda; Dr. Jennifer Breakspear; Dr. Laura MacKay; Jayson Anderson; John DeHaas; Suzanne Clarke Funding Agency: Vancouver Foundation Completed: 2010

Guys and Grief: Young Mens’ Responses to Accidental Death of a Peer

Young men are at higher risk of injury and death than young women, and certain groups of young men are at higher risk that other young men. Within these high risk groups of young men, little is known about how they react to the death of a friend, how this event may or may not […]

The use of Mobile Phone Text Messaging in Youth Sexual Health Education

Principal Investigator(s): Dr. Elizabeth Saewyc Co-Investigators: Lyndsay Symonds Funding Agency: CIHR

The sexual health of northern, rural, and remote youth in care

Principal Investigator(s): Dr. Heather Peters Co-Investigators: Dr. Cathy Chabot; Dr. Elizabeth Saewyc; Dr. Jean Shoveller Funding Agency: CIHR

The influence of violence exposure and protective factors on trends in adolescent health and risk behaviours

The purpose of this study is to help answer, at the population level, several questions: To what extent are decreases over the past decade in risk behaviours among youth in BC, such as substance use and risky sexual behaviours, due to declining trends in sexual and physical violence, discrimination or harassment among youth in school? […]

Minnesota Runaway Intervention Project (RIP 10 Questions)

The Runaway Intervention Project (RIP) provides health care, intensive support and life skill development for young runaway girls (aged 10 to 15) who have been, or are at risk of being sexually assaulted or exploited. The aim of the program is to help girls heal from trauma and rebuild self-esteem and connectedness to family and […]

Layers of Stigma among Adolescents: Developing a Comprehensive Measure

Most stigma measures are for a single characteristic, such as mental illness, or HIV/AIDS. This approach does not allow us to capture “layered” stigma (i.e., the compound effects of stigma from multiple stigmatized characteristics). We will develop a general stigmatization. The measure will include items that tap three dimensions of stigma; enacted stigma (rejecting hostile […]

Guys Unlimited: Young Men Speak Up about Health & Social Services in BC

Much research on health and social services for youth has focused on the gender-specific needs of young women with little attention being directed to the specific needs of young men. This mixed-methods study explores how young urban men between the ages of 19 to 25 experience health and social services in British Columbia. Three hundred […]

Girls on the Street, Period

Girls living on the streets experience multiple health issues and face barriers to accessing adequate health care. This project will explore the way that street involved girls in Vancouver manage menstruation in often unstable and challenging circumstances, order to gain better understanding of their health practices and beliefs. Information from this study will help to […]

Discourse Analysis of Sexual Exploitation in Canadian News Media

Using a mixed methods approach we are critically exploring the discourse used in printed news media to describe the sexual exploitation of youth. Our data set includes approximately 1300 articles from various newspapers across Canada, 1988 – 2013 that discuss specific events, issues, research findings, and policy or legal changes related to the sexual exploitation of […]

Cross-national comparisons of sexual exploitation and other health issues among street-involved youth in Korea and Canada

Based on both countries’ status as signatories of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, this study explored rights-related areas of health inequity among street-involved youth from both countries. Inequities included contraceptive use and teen pregnancy, self harm and suicide attempts, school attendance, and sexual exploitation. Principal Investigator(s): Dr. Elizabeth Saewyc; Dr. Kyun-Jun […]

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