Active Living for Rural Youth
This project will investigate how and where rural youth in Maine are physically active, and will help to define the built and natural environmental factors that support and limit daily physical activity of youth in rural communities. Through qualitative data collection, students in grades 4-12 in 3 selected rural, low-income Maine communities will provide information about their physical activity patterns and their perceptions of physical and social environments that support or create barriers to physical activity. This information will be used to develop hypotheses and create a conceptual model about environmental and policy characteristics that positively and/or negatively impact physical activity of youth specifically in rural areas. The conceptual model will draw from the existing "3 D" model used in the urban planning and transportation fields, which defines the core dimensions of built environments as density, diversity, and design. The 3 D model will be adapted to fit into a rural context, and used to develop measures of the environment (both natural and built) in rural communities and assess how those measured environmental characteristics affect the physical activity of youth. This project provides a strategic opportunity to increase the School's Public Health capacity and foster collaboration between academic and research programs (CPD & IHP).
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Policy Brief on Federal Health Care Reform
In this policy brief, Dr. Andrew Coburn of the Muskie School discusses three of the main components of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA): health insurance coverage, delivery system improvement, and cost containment, highlighting some of the provisions of the law that have already been implemented and those where important implementation decisions will have to be made.