196044 C.H.A.N.C.E. [Change, Hope, Action, New Beginning, Commitment, Endure]: Staying healthy for life

Wednesday, November 11, 2009: 8:30 AM

Maria Anastario, BA , School of Public Health, Dept. of Health Promotion & Education, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA
Anne Atkinson, BS , School of Public Health, Dept. of Health Promotion & Education, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA
Noriko Cuaron, BS , School of Public Health, Dept. of Health Promotion & Education, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA
Patti Herring, PhD, RN , School of Public Health, Dept. Health Promotion & Ed, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA
Susanne Montgomery, PhD , School of Public Health, Dept. Health Promotion & Ed, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA
Sanam Kazemi, MPH , School of Public Health, Dept. Health Promotion & Ed, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA
Elizabeth Holzhauser, MPH , School of Public Health, Dept. Health Promotion & Ed, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA
Young adults in impoverished areas face many challenges including alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs (ATOD), which put them at high risk for diseases, criminal system involvement, and premature death. While community and school-based ATOD prevention programs address these issues in youth, young adults tend to be overlooked since they have aged out of the usual program delivery venues. Young adults aged 19 to 21 years old, enrolled in the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) program at the Provisional Accelerated Learning (PAL) Center located in a Southern California low income community reported that one of their biggest challenges to successful program completion were issues surrounding a prevalent ATOD culture. In response MPH graduate students conducted a needs and assets assessment that included windshield surveys, literature reviews, site observations, theory-based semi-structured interviews, and a confirmatory focus group. Data were coded, themed and analyzed using Grounded Theory methods. Results indicate that young adults learn about ATOD and its effects from peers and family members, in essence from informal and non-trustworthy sources that are often part of a dominant street culture. They receive mixed messages about the short and long-term effects of drug use and are unclear about potential health and social consequences. This lack of accurate knowledge is compounded by pressure to participate in drug-related activities due to economic hardship. Per request of these young adults we developed, implemented and evaluated a pilot program that was tailored to their life circumstances. We will present program results including sustainability challenges in times of uncertain economics.

Learning Objectives:
By the end of the presentation, participants will be able to: 1. Identify positive health behavior that promote well being of young adult who are susceptible to using ATO for coping mechanisms. 2. Identify three unique barriers to avoiding ATO by young adults in at-risk groups. 3. Describe successful health education programs that will be most effective for at-risk young adults to improve their overall quality of life. 4. Describe how they might apply the programís lessons learned to their own community for preventing the use of ATO.

Keywords: Health Risks, Vulnerable Populations

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a graduate student and have participated in the research, design, implementation and evaluation of this program as part of my class work.
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.