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Failing to recognize the obvious: Models linking teen pregnancy and chronic disease prevention for high-risk Latina youth

Heather Diaz, MPH, Health Promotion & Education, Loma Linda University School of Public Health, Nichol Hall, Loma Linda, CA 92350, 909 558-8729, HeathDiaz@netscape.net, Susanne B. Montgomery, PhD, MPH, Department of Health Promotion and Education, School of Public Health, Loma Linda University, Nicol Hall Room 1511, Loma Linda, CA 92350, Ivy Lewis, BA, Consultant, Evaluation Research Unit, Loma Linda University, 10970 Parkland Street, Loma Linda, CA 92350, and Clifford Hackney, BS, Chief Professional Officer (CPO), San Bernardino Boys and Girls Club, 1180 West 9th Street, San Bernardino, CA 92411.

Despite years of teen pregnancy prevention program efforts, in 2002 San Bernardino County, CA youth (15-19) had higher live birth rates than the nation and four times the state average. Equally profound the same youth are struggling with chronic disease affliction. Type 2 diabetes levels for female Latinas in the area are high and rising. Coupled with teen pregnancy, the risk for gestational diabetes with potential earlier onset for Type-2 diabetes is a reality for these youth. Historically it has become difficult to include female Latina youth due to their reluctance to participate in "the usual" programs that label them as 'high risk' for teen pregnancy and/or chronic health diseases. Familial oriented empowerment models combining chronic disease and teen pregnancy prevention have been positively received and shown early promise. The Latina Youth Diabetes Pilot project uses a peer training and empowerment approach. Results with the initial group of participants indicate significant increases in reproductive health knowledge and prevention attitudes, and an increased sense of empowerment to maintain and improve their overall female health. We replicated and expanded the approach by using original program participants as youth empowerment leaders. Each recruited 2-3 peers to complete the same 20-hour training that they initially received. This curriculum-based program uses experiential and cognitive based learning about reproductive health and healthy lifestyle, and helps youth understand unexpected consequences of risk behaviors. As a culminating experience, participants made presentations in the community. Quantitative and qualitative results of this 'training the trainers' model will be presented.

Learning Objectives: By the end of this session participants will be able to

Keywords: Teen Pregnancy Prevention, Diabetes

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Reproductive Health of Young People: U.S. and International Viewpoints

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA