Latinos are a population at high risk for sexually transmitted diseases and use of substances. Latino youth are 2.8 times more likely to contract chlamydia, 2.2 times more likely to contract gonorrhea, 2.1 times more likely to contract syphilis (CDC, 2010) and have a higher rate of HPV infection, when compared to Whites. Latino 8th and 10th graders are also more likely than their White or Black peers to report lifetime past-year or past-month use of marijuana, cocaine, crack, and hallucinogens (Johnston, O'Malley, Bachman, & Schulenberg, 2010). To date, efforts have been insufficient to reduce this disparity. But few studies have addressed multiple risks occurring concomitantly or independently by engaging Latino families, youth and the community together in all aspects of intervention development. This community-based participatory research (CBPR) between the University of Southern California (USC) and Bienestar Health Services (BHS) aims to correct this inequity by including vulnerable Latino youth (16-21 years of age), families and the community to identity local needs, select, implement and test a pilot intervention in Los Angeles. We seek to empower Latino families, youth, and community gate keepers in the discovery of culturally grounded intervention/s that optimally address complex-multiple risk processes resulting in serious inequities among Latino youth.
Our aims are: 1) to establish a coalition -Partners for Strong Healthy Families (PSHF)- led by a Community Advisory Board (CAB) (community gatekeepers, parents, youths, Latino organizations) to engage in CBPR; collect data among 898 participants using qualitative and quantitative methods (needs assessment (n=400), an environmental scan in the selected community, 8 focus groups (n=96), key informant interviews (n=20), group model-building (GMB) via 6 small group meetings (n=120)) to identify community priorities and preferences; pilot test the resulting culturally tailored- language specific intervention (n=130 pr and 110 post test) that will provide detailed strategies to boost protective factors and reduce ris for engaging in early sex and substance use, strengthening Latino families; and evaluate the PSHF partnership and CAB on adherence to CBPR principles (n=22). An experienced CBPR team is committed to engaging Latino families, youth and community from conceptualization through dissemination in the discovery of new effective treatments and prevention strategies to address these complex multiple risk behaviors and reduce disparities.
In adolescent health, sexual risk and substance use are among the most difficult problems for families to address with their children. This CBPR study is directly relevant to discovering community based-culturally tailored intervention/s that reveal optimal ways to engage families, youth and communities; leads to the emergence of new effective strategies for treatment and prevention against multifactorial risk behaviors (sex & drugs and empowers Latinos to set their own cultural pathways to reduce these complex inequities.
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