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High Impact Attributes survey tool
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The High Impact Attributes

Research in the fields of youth development, education, and risk prevention has revealed that one of the most important things that can be done to help youth to be successful is to help them to develop certain attributes (characteristics or life skills) that will help them to navigate challenges.  Research has revealed a group of attributes that is connected to sport participation and also to positive decision-making in youth and positive outcomes related to health, education, and risk prevention[1]. The High Impact Attributes (HIAs) include: self-awareness, positive identity, situational awareness, plan B thinking, future focus, discipline, social confidence, and pro-social connections.


Sport-based youth development programs provide an optimal setting for the development of these attributes in youth by combining the power of sport with best practices in mentoring and youth development.  Youth are provided a safe space to learn and grow, a group of positive peers, and a coach who intentionally teaches these skills and draws connections between sport and life.  The sport experience itself requires the acquisition and continual improvement of skills, and by giving youth a positive experience, programs can engage youth over a long period of time.


Survey tool development

In 2015, Up2Us Sports worked with School to School International (STS) with support from the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation to validate a survey tool to measure the HIAs in the population of youth served by the Coach Across America program.  Youth included in the pilot and validation process were 52.5% male, 47% female, and 0.5% identified as other gender.  Youth were in grades 3-12 and ranged in age from 7 to 19, with an average age of 13.  30% of youth identified as Hispanic or Latino, 24% as White or Caucasian, 16% as Black or African American, and 13% as more than one race.  Approximately 80% of youth participants in CAA programs qualify for free or reduced price lunch, and the majority come from urban neighborhoods.


The final HIA survey has a separate scale for 7 attributes (with future focus and plan B thinking combined into one scale).  Each scale measures a score from 1 to 5, where 1 indicates low competence and 5 indicates high competence.  The survey also includes a wellbeing scale derived from the Gallup’s Student Poll[2].  Gallup research suggests that students who do well on this scale tend to achieve higher grades, complete more academic credits, and report fewer health problems than their peers.


Two versions of the survey were created for different age groups.  The “core” survey is intended for youth in grades 6-12 and focuses on all 8 attributes.  The “elementary” survey is intended for youth in grades 3-5 and focuses on 4 attributes: positive identity, discipline, social confidence, and pro-social connections.  STS determined that it was not appropriate to survey youth younger than 3rd grade.



Reliability and Validity

The final scales selected for inclusion in the survey had high reliability and validity.

Reliability is a measure of the consistency of the survey across comparable respondent groups and/or administrations of the survey; it is most commonly measured using Cronbach’s alpha.  Overall, the reliability of scales (measured using Cronbach’s alpha) was high at 0.7 or higher for all attributes except for the social confidence scale.


Validity is a measure of how well the survey measures the concepts or attributes it is intended to measure. The validity of the survey is established in several ways: 1) items on the survey were taken from validated scales in other studies; and 2) the items selected for inclusion in this survey were analyzed using factor analysis and only items that loaded on a single factor were retained. As a result of this approach, the final items have external validity (validated in other studies) and internal validity (based on factor analysis of pilot data) and are considered valid measures of the underlying attribute between the item and the underlying attribute, or factor (also called factor loading). The factor loading values always exceeded the threshold of 0.40.




The HIA survey is intended to be used as a pre/post measurement of positive attributes in youth served by sport-based youth development organizations.  Up2Us Sports recommends that the survey be given to youth once at the very beginning of program activities and again at the end of program activities.  To increase the strength of the design, a midline measure could be added and/or results can be compared to a control group.




For each question, youth who respond “very untrue about me” (core survey) or “NO!” (elementary survey) would receive a score of “1” for that question.  Youth who respond “very true about me” or “YES!” would receive a score of “5” for that question, and so on for the full scale of responses.  Each attribute has a group of questions, which can be averaged together into one score.  The attributes and corresponding question numbers are below:


Core survey:

·      Self awareness: # 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

·      Positive identity: # 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

·      Situational awareness: # 11, 12, 13, 14, 15

·      Future focus and plan B thinking: # 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22

·      Discipline: # 23, 24, 25, 26, 27

·      Social confidence: # 28, 29, 30, 31, 32

·      Pro-social connections: # 33, 34, 35, 36, 37

·      Well-being: # 38, 39, 40, 41, 42


Elementary survey:

·      Positive identity: # 1, 2, 3, 4

·      Discipline: # 5, 6, 7, 8

·      Social confidence: # 9, 10, 11, 12

·      Pro-social connections: # 13, 14, 15, 16

·      Well-being: # 17, 18, 19, 20, 21




The HIA survey is available to use for program evaluation purposes for free.  In order to use the HIA survey, please obtain permission from Up2Us Sports by completing this form.  The survey must be used with the Up2Us Sports logo, and users may be contacted about sharing more details on their experience with the survey and/or their results.


URL for request form:

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