This proposal describes the development, implementation, and evaluation of a family-based intervention aimed at promoting health and preventing HIV risk exposure (by reducing incidence of early and unprotected sexual intercourse) among urban, African American pre and young adolescents living in poverty. The intervention will be developed based on data from an ongoing NIMH-funded of the transmission to adolescence in a comparable group of youth (Chicago HIV Prevention and Adolescent Mental Health Project: CHAMP) and in a collaborative partnership between University (faculty and staff) and Community (parents, elementary school staff, and community members). The intervention proposed is expected to delay the onset of sexual activity and reduce HIV risk exposure by: 1) promoting comfort and communication between family members about information and values related to puberty early sexual behavior, HIV and AIDS; 2) increasing parental supervision skills to prevent HIV risk exposure, both via individual timely improvements as well as via creating and maximizing use of intra and extrafamilial support networks; and 3) improving child social problem solving and interpersonal negotiation strategies. A sample of 550 children and their families will be randomly selected (from a pool of approximately 750 children) Inc recruited from 4 schools on the South Side of Chicago. All schools serve primarily African American inner-city children, who are at risk for HIV exposure due to high neighborhood infection rates as well as high concentration of urban poverty. The intervention will be longitudinal in nature, beginning with children in the 4th and 5th grades and following them for three years (e.g., to 6th/7th grade), and will include 3 components: 1) multiple family groups (where children and parents practice discussing family topics in a group setting); 2) parent support groups (where parents discuss supervision and disciplinary roles with one another as well as sharing concerns regarding values and communication with their children); and 3) child support groups (where children practice social problem solving, refusal, and interpersonal negotiation strategies with one another). Groups will be co-facilitated by teams comprised of University and Community consultants. Evaluation of program effects will be conducted yearly comparing family-based participants to: 1) children in the same schools who do not receive the program (N= 200); and 2) basic research data from CHAMP (N=400). Results will have implications for the design of HIV prevention and other intervention programs aimed at involving families in the promotion of health and prevention of risk during the transition to adolescence.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Research Project (R01)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZMH1 (O3))
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Pequegnat, Willo
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University of Illinois at Chicago
Schools of Medicine
United States
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