Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Faculty of Science

First Advisor

Mark Pancer

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


This paper looks at the present state of youth, their education, employment status, family life, psychological well-being and their hopes and aspirations. It also discusses the negative labeling and oppression experienced by youth, and methods of reducing them. The research focuses on youth a Scadding Court Community Centre in downtown Toronto. Thirty-four youth at the Centre participated in a needs assessment, utilizing a four part questionnaire, during the months of March and April, 1988. Confidentiality was of the utmost importance due to the personal nature of some of the questions. The questionnaire ascertained how the youth feel about the Centre; what habits, activities, and needs/problems they may have; as well as topics of interest to them. This was done in the hope that future work can correct problems, increase awareness of the youth population and decrease staff-youth animosity. Informal interview sessions with both staff and youth were conducted after the questionnaires were collected. The results indicated that the youth rely a great deal on the Centre for their socialization and entertainment. The youth learns about functions at the Centre from their friends and they would attend the Centre most often on Thursday or Friday in the afternoon and evening. Although the participants’ habits were similar to reports of other typical youth behaviours (King et al., 1985), the respondents were not always sure why they were going through the emotional turmoil that they were experiencing. Seventy-six and one half per cent of the youth were sometimes extremely unhappy; 33.3% of participants had thought of suicide, 11.8% had tried. Also, 41.2% had a hard time controlling their tempers and another 61.8% had been upset but did not know why. Of the topics of interest, there were fourteen supported by at least 50 per cent of the respondents. They were: self-understanding, good relationships, leisure time activities, saving money/bonds, money management, self-confidence, body image, emotional changes, computers, communication, sexually transmitted diseases, self-esteem, decision-making and drugs. This study provided some understanding of youth at Scadding Court as well as areas in which the Centre can provide needed services. It must be noted, however that a more accurate account of the Centre’s youth would have been obtained if more youth had been available to participate. This type of study should be conducted from time to time in order to keep programming up to date. Also, in the future a formal survey of staff would be useful to provide a clearer picture of the Centre’s dynamics.

Convocation Year


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