This application is designed to launch an independent research career in community health services research that (a) supports adult and youth resilience and well-being in historically disenfranchised communities; (b) harnesses, organizes, and shares local knowledge and skills to build social capital among adults supporting youth in community settings; and (c) merges methods and knowledge across disciplines (e.g., clinical, organizational, and community psychology) to understand the individual, organizational, and community-level effects of workforce support. The proposed study brings peer-to-peer workforce support to urban after-school programs and examines impacts on staff and youth resilience and well-being. Family and community level stressors (e.g., poverty, discrimination, violence) can interfere with short and long-term youth health and success.1-4 Adults in community programs can promote youth resilience5-6 via high quality adult-youth interactions;10 however, high burnout and turnover, common to youth care work, can interfere with these interactions.14 Increased connectedness among teachers is associated with reduced burnout/turnover and increased positive interactions with youth.15-16 We propose that peer-to-peer support among afterschool providers may offer a similar pathway to improving youth and staff resilience/well-being via increased effectiveness with youth and connectedness among staff. We are collaborating with Miami-Dade Parks and Recreation Fit2Lead after-school program serving middle school youth in 10 economically vulnerable and predominantly Black and Hispanic neighborhoods. The proposed Peer2Peer model includes key opinion leader staff (KOLS, n=6), identified via sociometric interviews, co-facilitating monthly group trainings and learning communities on socioemotional skills and community building. We will use a mixed method, iterative approach combining staff (n=30) survey and focus group data regarding feasibility, barriers, and facilitators to promoting staff effectiveness and connectedness (Specific Aim 1). We will examine mechanisms by which Peer2Peer impacts youth and staff resilience/well-being via increased effectiveness and connectedness (Specific Aim 2), including: 1. changes in network density and corresponding social capital following implementation of Peer2Peer; and 2. dissemination of empirically supported recommendations based on network density and staff proximity in network to KOLS. We will conduct paired T- tests to examine pre- to post- differences in staff effectiveness and connectedness, and thematic analyses of focus group feedback to confirm and contextualize findings (Hypothesis 1). We will use multiple regression to examine associations between (1) social network density and use of recommendations over time (Hypothesis 2); (2) staff effectiveness and youth resilience/well-being (Hypothesis 3) and; (3) staff connectedness and staff resilience/well-being (Hypothesis 4). Primary Sponsor Frazier will oversee Training Goal 2: Interdisciplinary theory and method to promote community, provider, and youth resilience/well-being (with consultants Bruk-Lee and Nicolas). Co-sponsor Dr. Shernoff will oversee Training Goal 1: Social networks, social capital and peer-to-peer support to enhance effectiveness and connectedness (with consultants Watling-Neal and Valente). This application will launch an independent research career in community health services research examining workforce support to promote resilience and well-being in historically disenfranchised communities.
We will bring peer-to-peer workforce support to urban after-school programs for middle school youth in disenfranchised Black and Hispanic communities. We will invite peer-nominated Key Opinion Leaders to provide training and encourage knowledge sharing on evidence-based tools for socioemotional skills and community building. We will examine impact on staff interactions with youth, staff interactions with each other, and changes in youth and staff resilience and well-being.