The goal of our proposed project is to use a community based participatory research (CBPR) approach to develop and implement a school-based intervention focused on the needs of Somali, Latino and Hmong 9th grade youth to promote positive youth development and address key behavioral outcomes. These outcomes will be determined as part of the CBPR process but may include substance use, violence, and mental health/coping. Somali, Latino, and Hmong are the largest immigrant groups in Minnesota and comprise a large and growing proportion of children in urban public school districts. While these groups represent distinct cultures and experiences, the Somali, Latino and Hmong Partnership for Health and Wellness (SoLaHmo) have identified commonalities, including shared community values (including formal education) and assets and a shared desire for safe, healthy, strong families and communities. This application builds on preliminary work during the last two years of a partnership between SoLaHmo and the study PI, Michele Allen from the University of Minnesota. To date this partnership has used CBPR approaches to identify teacher and school culture related factors that promote school connection and PYD for Somali, Latino, and Hmong youth. This project will expand the current partnership to include among others the Saint Paul Public School District, in order to develop and implement an intervention based on formative data.
The aims of the current application are to Aim 1: Build a collaborative process with representatives of youth, parents, schools, community organizations, and the Saint Paul School District to direct the project to identify key perspectives not yet included in the asset/need assessment, and direct collection of that data;
Aim 2 : Engage individuals representing a broad array of community, research, and school perspectives in a concept mapping approach that draws on formative qualitative work to develop key components and approaches of an intervention to promote PYD among middle or high school age Latino, Somali, and Hmong youth and identify key youth behavioral outcomes of focus;
Aim 3 : Pilot the intervention designed through Aims 1 and 2 in one or two high school in St. Paul during grant years 2 and 3.