180291 Youth Empowerment for Asian-American Adolescent Health (Project YEA-AAH): Implementation of a comprehensive teen pregnancy prevention program

Wednesday, October 29, 2008: 12:50 PM

Jolene Chou, MPH , Research and Evaluation, Charles B. Wang Community Health Center, New York, NY
Loretta Au, MD , Department of Pediatrics, Charles B. Wang Community Health Center, New York, NY
Jessica Kyriakakis , Department of Pediatrics, Charles B. Wang Community Health Center, New York, NY
Annie Shek , Pediatrics, Charles B. Wang Community Health Center, New York, NY
In New York City (NYC), more Chinatown residents live below poverty (31% v 21%) and are less educated (60% v 28% below high school) than other ethnic groups. In this context, and amidst the clash of cultures, values, and identities in the immigration and acculturation experience, teens in this community are highly susceptible to high-risk behaviors including unprotected sexual practices. Chinese immigrant families and communities do possess unique assets, among them strong community ties and general willingness to put family above individual needs. In 2006, Charles B Wang Community Health Center, the largest Chinese immigrant-serving clinic in NYC, began leading a collaborative effort to develop and implement an integrated, asset-based health promotion program guided by input from community teens to foster teen pregnancy prevention among underserved youth in NYC Chinatown. Informed by recent research and practice wisdom, Project YEA-AAH was developed using an ecological, youth development approach that actively involves families, schools, community-based organizations and Chinese immigrant teens. Rather than employing problem-based interventions, the program aims to empower teenagers by promoting intergenerational and peer-communication, enabling higher education and career development, facilitating community engagement, and improving knowledge and attitude towards sexual behavior. At the core of the program are comprehensive, accessible, confidential reproductive health services for teens. We will describe the experience gained and challenges faced in the first three years of the implementation, relay perspectives of community partners and feedback from participating teens and parents, and discuss outlook into the final two years of the program.

Learning Objectives:
At the end of this session, participants will be able to 1) recognize the value of promoting adolescent pregnancy prevention using a youth development framework, and 2) describe the promise and challenges of safe sex and pregnancy prevention initiatives targeting underserved Chinese immigrant communities.

Keywords: Adolescent Health, Sexual Risk Behavior

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I oversee the design and implementation of the program highlighted in this session.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.