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Youth at Risk version of the Life Effectiveness Questionnaire:
The Measurement Scales & Items

James Neill
Last updated:
11 Sep 2006


Note: The supporting documentation describing the rationale and background to these items is in the YARPET Paper.


 

Youth at Risk version of the Life Effectiveness Questionnaire:
The Measurement Scales & Items

 

Personal objectives

Social objectives

Environmental objectives


Personal Objectives

Self-Esteem

(from the Self-Descriptionnaire Questionnaire-II, Marsh, 1990)

 

Self-report

Overall most things I do turn out well.

Overall I have a lot to be proud of.

Most things I do I do well.

 

Observer

Exhibits a high level of self-esteem.


Self-Confidence

(from the Life Effectiveness Questionnaire, Neill, Marsh & Richards, 1997)

 

Self-report

I know I have the ability to do anything I want to do.

When I apply myself to something I am confident I will succeed.

I believe I can do it.


Observer

Has the self-confidence to manifest what he/she desires in life.

 

Locus of Control

(from the Review of Personal Effectiveness, Richards, Ellis & Neill, 2002)

 

Self-report

My own efforts and actions are what will determine my future.

Luck, other people and events control most of my life. [reverse scored]

What I do and how I do it will determine my successes in life.

My life is mostly controlled by external things. [reverse scored]

If I succeed in life it will be because of my efforts.

 

Observer

Believes that his/her actions and efforts determine what happens to him/her.


Effective Problem Solving

(adapted from the Adolescent Coping Scale, Frydenberg & Lewis, 1993)

 

Self-report

I work hard at solving whatís causing my problems.

I solve problems to the best of my ability.

I am effective at solving the cause of my problems.

Observer

Effective at solving problems.


Goal-Setting

 

Self-report

Goals are important to me. 

I have specific goals to aim for.

I do not have any goals. [reverse scored]

Having goals makes my life more enjoyable.

I prefer to set my own goals.

 

Observer

Effective at setting and achieving goals.

 

Reflective Journaling

 

Self-report

I write about my thoughts and feelings in a journal or diary.

Writing in a journal or diary is valuable for my learning.

I enjoy using a journal or diary to reflect on what is happening in my life.

I use a journal or diary to record my life experiences.

I use a journal as a way of dealing with things that are happening to me.

 

Observer

Uses journaling to reflect on his/her experiences.


Creative Self-Expression

 

Self-report

I express myself in creative ways.

I like to use creative ways of exploring my thoughts and feelings.

I explore my thoughts and feelings creatively, such as through art, drama or music.

I have lots of creative ways to communicate my thoughts and feelings.

I have difficulty finding creative ways to express myself. [reverse scored]

 

Observer

Expresses thoughts and feelings creatively, such as through art, drama or music.

Healthy Risk-taking

 

Self-report

I am good at deciding whether a risk is worth taking.

I avoid actions which risk my health and well-being [reverse scored].

I think carefully about the consequences of my risky actions.

I balance my risk-taking behaviors -- I am not too risky or too cautious.

I make effective use of risk-taking in my life.

 

Observer

takes healthy risks (not too cautious, not too risky) for the sake of his/her growth and well-being.


Seakayaking Competence
[an example of a scale measuring physical skill competence]

 

Self-report

I am a competent sea kayaker

I am confident in my ability to handle waves, high winds, and capsizes.

I am capable of completing sea kayaking trip of more than six miles.

I can safely launch and beach my sea kayak.

I can paddle a sea kayak backward in a straight line.

 

Observer

Possesses good sea kayaking skills

  

Social Objectives

 

Respect/Understand Personal Boundaries

 

Self-report

I respect other people.

I behave appropriately towards other people.

I respect personal boundaries when touching other people.

I understand issues of personal space, touch, and appropriate behavior towards other people.

I have problems respecting other peopleís personal space. [reverse scored]

Observer

Appropriately respects personal space, touch, and rules of conduct.

 

 

Conflict Resolution

 

Self-report

I resolve my conflicts with other people.

I avoid unnecessary conflicts with others.

I canít deal with conflict. [reverse]

If there is a conflict, I try to improve the situation.

Other people respect the way I handle conflict.

Observer

Effectively heads off and resolves interpersonal and group conflicts.

 

 

Communication Skills

 

Self-report

People understand me when Iím talking.

I communicate effectively with other people.

I understand other people when they are talking to me.

I have good conversations with other people.

I communicate well when in a group.

Observer

Communicates effectively with others in interpersonal and group settings.

 

 

Cooperative Teamwork

 

Self-report

I cooperate well when working in team.

I like cooperating in a team.

I am good at cooperating with team members.

 

Observer

Cooperates well working with other team members.

 

 

Effective Leadership

(from the Review of Personal Effectiveness, Richards, Ellis & Neill, 2002)

 

Self-report

As a leader, I get people working well together.

I am a capable leader.

I am a good leader when things need to get done.

Observer

Leads effectively when a task needs to be done.

 

 

Community Engagement

(adapted from Sense of Community Scale)

 

Self-report

I am proud of my involvement in the community.

I enjoy living in my community.

I influence what my community is like.

If I have problems, there are people in my community who help me to solve them.

I help people in my community to get along with each other.

 

Observer

Has a positive sense of community.

 

 

Environmental Objectives

 

Environmental Stewardship

The extent to which a person believes that humans need to engage in understanding, preventing and solving environmental problems.

 

Self-report

I think humans have the right to modify the natural environment to suit their needs. [reverse scored]

I believe humans must live in harmony with nature in order to survive.

I think conserving natural resources is necessary.

I believe humans have a responsibility to solve environmental problems.

 

Observer

Is actively concerned and interested in issues in the ecosystem.

 

 

Local Environmental Knowledge

 

Note: Only one item is suggested for this scale in the interests of keeping the overall instrument as short as validly possible.  Local environmental knowledge is more objective than personal constructs, therefore may be validly assessable using fewer items.  If local environmental knowledge is a major program objective, then it is recommended that a more comprehensive measure be developed.  For most youth-at-risk outdoor education programs, however, there are either no environmental objectives, or there are minor environmental objectives.

 

Self-report

I have an in-depth knowledge about the [maybe add/substitute place-specific name] local environment and ecosystem.

 

Observer

has an in-depth knowledge about the [maybe add/substitute place-specific name] local environment and ecosystem.