The ultimate goal of this K23 application is to provide the applicant with the skills, knowledge and experiences necessary to become an independent researcher and build a program of services research focused on improving the behavioral and social-emotional outcomes of children in Latino immigrant families. Latinos are less likely to receive specialty mental health care when compared to Whites and African Americans and are underrepresented in the clinical trials providing the evidence-base for efficacious treatments (EBTs). This low representation in research has resulted in a debate about whether EBTs generalize to Latinos and whether their adaptation is necessary. The applicant proposes to begin her program of research on Latino mental health services by studying the process of adapting a behavioral parent training (BPT) program for Latino immigrant families to address both the high level of unmet mental health needs and the limited scientific evidence on the development of culturally responsive interventions for this population. The proposed professional development goals include developing expertise in culturally responsive research, mental health services research, and advanced quantitative and qualitative research methodology. These enhanced skills and knowledge will provide the applicant with a solid empirical, theoretical and experiential foundation to pursue Latino mental health services research with the goal of developing services that are effective, sustainable and accessible. The research plan consists of two studies. Study 1 is a qualitative investigation of the cultural and generic adaptations clinicians make to a BPT program to meet the needs of the Latino immigrant population they serve. Study 2 pilot tests the adaptations clinicians made in Study 1 using a mixed-methods approach. Parent and child outcome data will be collected. Data will also be collected on clinician's adherence to the treatment manuals.
Latinos are the fastest growing and the youngest segment of the population. Latinos also compose the largest immigrant group. The majority of immigrant children are Latino, with Mexican immigrant children representing 62% of this population. Mexican immigrant children experience multiple risk factors linked to negative developmental outcomes: low parental education, parental under-employment, poverty and linguistic isolation.