Coös Youth Study

Coös Youth Study

The Coös Youth Study is a ten-year research project exploring young people’s decisions about their educational and job opportunities in Coös County and their plans to stay in Coös or move away.

Participants are asked about their:

  • aspirations for future academic and economic success;
  • beliefs about economic opportunities within their local communities;
  • attachment to Coös County;
  • family, school, and community relationships; and
  • health and social behavior.

The study began in 2008 with financial support from the Neil and Louise Tillotson Fund and has since gained additional support from the National Science Foundation (NSF)[1]. It is planned to continue through 2018, surveying the same participants a minimum of once every two years as well as following up with a smaller group of participants for more in-depth interviews. As the study progresses, we are beginning to see trends in the decisions young people are making about their lives and goals. We have gathered data through the following activities so far:

  • 2008: Survey of seventh and eleventh graders in all Coös County public schools
  • 2008: Interviews with 24 participating seventh graders and their mothers
  • 2009: Survey of eighth and twelfth graders in all Coös County public schools
  • 2011: Survey of tenth graders in all Coös County public schools and first follow-up with the graduating class of 2009
  • 2013: Survey of twelfth graders in all Coös County public schools and second follow-up with the graduating class of 2009
  • 2015-16: First follow-up survey with the class of 2013, and third follow-up survey with the class of 2009, from all Coös County public schools

  • 2017-18: Second follow-up survey with the class of 2013, and fourth follow-up survey with the class of 2009, from all Coös County public schools

The results of the study are shared with local governments, community leaders, and organizations serving youth in Coös County so that they may better understand the strengths and needs of Coös youth and better respond to their concerns. They are also published in Carsey research briefs and fact sheets and peer-reviewed journals.

As participants move forward in their lives after high school graduation, it becomes more challenging for us to follow up with them. The support of the community can make a big difference in keeping young people engaged in this effort. You can help by encouraging your family members, friends, and neighbors in the class of 2009 or the class of 2013 from a Coös County public school to stay involved in the study and keep their contact information up to date.

If you are a participant in the Coös Youth Study, please let us know if you change your email address, postal address, or phone number by contacting us at coos.youth.study@unh.edu or by calling us at (603) 862-5062.


1 Grant #1155797

If you have questions or comments about the Coös Youth Study, please contact our project manager, Eleanor Jaffee, at eleanor.jaffee@unh.edu or (603) 862-1012.