Eduardo De la Vega-Taboada
Engineer and PhD Student in Developmental Sciences-Psychology
Florida International University
11200 SW 8Th Street, 33199
Phone: (786) 775-2003
Eduardo found a way into academia after more than 15 years creating and leading conflict resolution, adaptive leadership and Positive Youth Development programs for the government, the for-profit and non-profit sector in Colombia. This transition was driven by his passion for efficiently disseminating and implementing developmental psychology to better serve children, adolescents and parents in communities experiencing poverty and violence.
Safe Spaces Among Adolescents in Rural Colombia (Under review)
Centering the United Nations call for the creation of safe spaces for adolescents globally, this study critically analyses the linkages between violence victimization risk, and the perceptions of personal and public spaces. Qualitative analysis is used to examine adolescents' identification of safe spaces, as defined by their perceived risk for violence victimization in the rural Colombian community of Santa Ana (Barú). Gender segregated focus group discussions were held with 40 adolescents. Bronfenbrenner’s ecological model guided the thematic analysis’ identification of associations between factors that increase or decrease violence victimization risk, and the social spaces in which they occur. Spaces that emerge as most salient included streets, the local sports field, their individual homes, and community parties known as Picos. However, schools were perceived as the safest space due to the presence of authoritative adults that implemented protective practices. The importance of addressing the factors that inform adolescents perceptions of risk are discussed, particularly within the context of low resource settings cross culturally.