There is indication that quality parenting, especially during early childhood, can mitigate up to 50% of the negative impacts of poverty on children (Morgan, 2009). Studies have also revealed that the use of 'peers' in behavior modification and life-style change is very effective and that leadership is one of the determining factors of success across families, neighborhoods, societies and organizations (Leithwood & Jantzi, 2000). To effectively reduce and ultimately eliminate disparities, evidence has shown that Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) is an approach to scientific investigation that calls for the community -the community affected by the health disparity- to be involved in every phase of the research project. This means that community representatives identify the community's most important health problems as the focus of the study, partner with the academic research team in choosing the research question and method, participate in conducting the study, and help interpret and disseminate the results. The Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM) Satcher Health Leadership Institute (SHLI) utilized CBPR to assess, plan, design, and develop and pilot-test the use of 'quality parenting' as a strategy that empowers parents to lead in the development of their children 0-5 years old. Our proposal is to test the extent to which quality parenting could be used as an intervention for addressing health inequities among minority groups, predominantly African Americans, in low socio-economic communities. The SHLI conducted a CBPR I process through a National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparity funded project called the 'Neighborhood Healthy Child Development' {NHCD] that led to the identification of quality parenting as a priority condition that can be used to reduce obesity, violence, and mental health problems, as well as increase social connection, support, education and mental well-being of children and families when led by peer-parent leaders through a conversational learning process.

Public Health Relevance

Most existing parenting education curricula being used by low socio-economic or ethnic minority families are not developed with active participation of mothers, fathers, siblings, caregivers and/or grandparents from these vulnerable populations. Highly relevant is using quality parenting and parents that reside in the communities as 'change agents' leaders for addressing health inequities. The proposed CBPR paradigm of 'Using Quality Parenting to Address Health inequities' promotes community empowerment.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD)
Resource-Related Research Projects (R24)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZMD1-RN (07))
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Wasserman, Joan
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Morehouse School of Medicine
Schools of Medicine
United States
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Holden, Kisha; Akintobi, Tabia; Hopkins, Jammie et al. (2016) Community Engaged Leadership to Advance Health Equity and Build Healthier Communities. Soc Sci (Basel) 5:
Bolar, Cassandra L; Hernandez, Natalie; Akintobi, Tabia Henry et al. (2016) Context matters: A community-based study of urban minority parents' views on child health. J Ga Public Health Assoc 5:212-219