Subproject 2: Communities Invested in Healthy Life Trajectories of African American Bovs PI: Sonya Brady, PhD (UMN);Co-PIs: Tina Simpson, MD (UAB);. Willie Winston (Minnesota Association of Black Psychologists) Externalizing behavior among disadvantaged African American youth may be a response to stressors and inequities within the home, school, and community. Externalizing symptoms during childhood are associated with increased engagement in a variety of risk behaviors during adolescence, including violence involvement and substance use. Youth assets and resources for resilience fostered by parents/caregivers, teachers, and community members may protect youth from negative outcomes from their responses to these stressors. Relationships between key individuals must be strengthened in order to foster youth assets and to provide adequate resources for resilience.
For Aim 1, the investigators will establish the feasibility and acceptability of utilizing a community-based participatory research (CBPR) approach to develop, implement, and evaluate a school-linked intervention for socioeconomically disadvantaged African American boys aged 8- 14 years and their caregivers. Domains of development during Years 1-3 of the grant period include: A) Community Coalition Formation. Academic partners will disseminate data from formative research to identify and engage community partners. B) Intervention Development. Consistent with the Communities that Care model, CBPR partners will review and select one or more evidence-based interventions demonstrated to reduce externalizing symptoms and risk behavior among youth. CBPR partners will develop a protocol for delivering the intervention within one or more contexts (e.g., schools, churches, community centers). Intervention components will target the strengthening of relationships between three key dyads: 1) caregiver child;2) teacher-child;and 3) teacher-caregiver. C) Assessment Tools. CBPR partners will refine the Family Assessment Measure, which will serve as a baseline, post-intervention, and 6-month follow-up assessment of boys'externalizing symptoms, risk behavior, and school-based disciplinary action and juvenile justice system involvement. D) Communication Campaign. CBPR partners will develop a campaign to raise awareness of services within the school/community, reduce the stigma of receiving services, and encourage family involvement.
For Aim 2, the investigators will conduct a pilot study to establish feasibility and acceptability of the school-linked intervention among African American families and to inform a full-scale group randomized controlled trial. CBPR partners will implement the communication campaign and offer the intervention to cohorts of families during the school year (Years 4-5).
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