197889 Feasibility of a coping intervention for Latina adolescents

Monday, November 9, 2009

Carolyn Garcia, PhD, MPH, RN , School of Nursing, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
Jessie Kemmick Pintor, BA , School of Nursing, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
Sandi Lindgren, LSW , Social Work, El Colegio Charter School, Minneapolis, MN
Background: Depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation rank among the leading health care problems experienced by adolescents in the United States (US). Latino students, especially females, demonstrate high rates of depressive symptoms and suicidal ideation, which may be indicative of inadequate coping abilities. Few school-based preventive interventions exist addressing adolescent mental health and none have been developed for Latino females. Girls cope differently than boys and the stressors some Latina students experience related to their immigration and acculturation processes necessitate specific intervention strategies. We developed and implemented a semester-long, group-based coping program for Latinas that offers opportunities to express themselves and gain healthy coping skills and stress response.

Methods: Twenty-one Latina adolescents enrolled in a feasibility study of a school-based coping program. Each weekly session provided time for group sharing, physical movement, and life skills education. Coping was measured with self-report (A-COPE) and reactive salivary cortisol (Trier protocol).

Results: The intervention was implemented in two schools during fall (n=10) and spring (n=11) semester with high weekly participation rates (79% and 84%, respectively). Three dropped out due to work and family barriers (e.g. parental deportation to Mexico). The Trier Social Stress Test protocol, a standardized objective measure of stress response, was found to be feasible with Spanish-speaking Latina adolescents.

Conclusions: Latina youth will participate in a group format, school-based intervention for gaining coping skills. This coping intervention may be one component of a comprehensive school-based intervention model. The intervention feasibility and acceptability are promising and suggest further coping intervention testing and development.

Learning Objectives:
1. To describe the feasibility and acceptability outcomes of a new mental health preventive intervention for Latina adolescents. 2. To identify three factors which promote Latina adolescent involvement in a mental health intervention program.

Keywords: Intervention, Child/Adolescent Mental Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: i have conducted the research
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.

See more of: Mental Health Poster Session I
See more of: Mental Health