This project uses Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) to address health disparities related to violence exposure among Latino youth. An important objective of the proposal is to address a significant gap in prevention science and health disparities research, by forming an academic-community partnership focused on preventing youth violence and reducing the prevalence of subsequent problem outcomes associated with violence exposure that pose a significant public health burden for Latino youth.
The specific aims are to: (1) build a strong community-academic partnership to assess community needs and priorities for violence prevention through effective collaboration, shared responsibility and equity in decision-making among researchers, community agencies, and key community stakeholders;(2) identify local conditions related to experiences of violence, acculturative stress, discrimination, and other related factors to document, and highlight the Latino community's view of its own health problems related to violence and its negative effect on children and adolescents;(3) jointly sponsor meetings that address local conditions in order to heighten the community's awareness of health disparities related to violence exposure, disseminate relevant violence prevention information that stems from current research findings using both national and local data;and (4) develop and submit collaborative proposals for a CBPR intervention project to reduce/prevent violence among Latino youth. To accomplish these aims, we will build upon and strengthen existing collaborations with academic, community-based organizations, and community members. The collaborative partners and community stakeholders have identified addressing youth violence as a high priority. We will develop an advisory board and engage them in CBPR training. We will collaboratively conduct extensive formative work, including qualitative interviews and focus groups with community stakeholders, to assess priorities and potential strategies for addressing youth violence prevention. We will engage youth using photovoice, a strength-based methodology using cameras to allow participants to take a central role in assessment of their lives and communities in a flexible and accessible manner, suitable across age groups, and for the purpose of critical dialogue and reflection, and ultimately, community organization towards social action. We will invite local and national experts to engage in a reciprocal exchange of knowledge with our advisory board and with the community-at-large, through community forums. We will assess the success of the partnership in terms of the collaborative process, efficiency, empowerment, and satisfaction, and seek additional funds for a CBPR intervention project focused on community-based youth violence prevention. The community-academic partnership and infrastructure developed during this process will allow us to continue to collaborate in addressing health disparities facing Latin youth.
Violence exposure poses a major problem for Latino youth in the United States. Violence exposure and its negative health and mental health sequelae represent a racial disparity, occurring at disproportionately higher rates among Latino youth when compared with their non-Hispanic White counterparts. An important objective of the proposal is to address a significant gap in prevention science and health disparities research, by forming an academic-community partnership focused on preventing youth violence and reducing the prevalence of subsequent problem outcomes associated with violence exposure that pose a significant public health burden for Latino youth.