This application presents a program of research and training focused on integrating empirically supported HIV- prevention strategies into faith-based sexual education programs. Specifically, the proposed project aims to develop and test a faith-based HIV intervention for African American mothers and daughters. The training objectives are to develop the PI's expertise in: 1) Advanced knowledge in the role of faith-based organizations in HIV prevention and the application of faith-based approaches to addressing African American girls'sexual risks;(2) expertise in intervention design and development of family and faith-based HIV interventions;(3) increase proficiency in testing the efficacy of gender-specific, culturally sensitive and empirically supported HIV interventions for African American girls;and (4) advanced knowledge in mixed-method data collection techniques and analysis. The primary goals of the proposed project are to develop a faith-based HIV intervention for African American girls and their mothers drawing on a faith-based sexual education program (Generation to Generation) and an empirically supported HIV intervention (SIHLE). In Stage 1, we will work closely with our advisory board to develop a gender-specific and culturally sensitive faith-based HIV intervention for African American girls and their mothers (Study 1). We will pilot the program by administering the uniquely tailored curriculum to a group of 8 African American adolescent girls and their mothers (cohort 1: N=16). We will examine the intervention's feasibility, acceptability and tolerability, and we will evaluate our tracking and retention strategies. We will refine the curriculum and study procedures based on participant feedback and advisory board input. In Stage 2, we will test the efficacy of the intervention with a sample of 72 parent-adolescent dyads who will receive either the faith-based HIV intervention (N=36 parent-adolescent dyads) or a wait list control condition (36 parent-adolescent dyads). We will assess change in parent-child relationships, sexual possibility situations, adolescents'HIV risk behavior and substance use from baseline, post-assessment and 3-month follow-up. Estimates of effect size will be collected for a future large scale research trial. In Study 2, we will conduct in depth interviews and focus groups with key church stakeholders and participants in the intervention in order to understand the successes and challenges to developing and implementing a family and faith-based HIV prevention intervention (Study 2).

Public Health Relevance

High rates of HIV, adolescent pregnancy, and sexually transmitted infections among African American girls underscore the need for culturally sensitive prevention interventions designed to reduce HIV risk behaviors. Given the need to tailor interventions for African Americans and increase the sustainability of interventions, faith-based organization may represent an extremely important yet under-utilized gateway for HIV prevention with African American families.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Research Scientist Development Award - Research & Training (K01)
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Behavioral and Social Consequences of HIV/AIDS Study Section (BSCH)
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Kamath, Susannah M Allison
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University of Illinois at Chicago
Schools of Public Health
United States
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