205782 Designing alternative approaches to teen outreach programs: A series of presentations targeting adolescent minority girls' issues of identity and sexuality

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Lila E. Arnaud, BA , Community Health Sciences, Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, New Orleans, LA
“Making Healthy Choices” (MHC) is a comprehensive self-awareness and sexual education program which encourages healthy choices by advocating the holistic well-being of girls. The target audience is pre-adolescent girls at high risk of pregnancy in New Orleans. Created by a MPH candidate at the Tulane School of Public Health, MHC incorporates the Association of Schools of Public Health's “This is Public Health” campaign, by defining the relationship between an individual's health and Public Health. MHC aims to teach girls the importance of making healthy life choices and explores contemporary issues such as nutrition and exercise, body image and self-esteem, adolescent sexuality and pregnancy, and overcoming peer pressure. This program looks at issues of identity within pre-adolescent minority girls in a community that is in the midst of reconstructing its own sense of identity. Health indicators in the state of Louisiana continue to show great disparity between minorities and Whites and have been associated with our ranking last in health status. The high IMR and increase of LBW amongst minority women also subject these girls to high risks of poor birth outcomes. Establishing preventive programs that focus on teaching minority girls about health in a positive way is crucial in addressing these disparities. A series of presentations, MHC focuses on the need of young girls to have positive and open discussions about how to deal with the change in their bodies, learn about hygiene, become informed of their resources, and know the facts about sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)/STIs and contraception use.

Learning Objectives:
Discuss problem solving methods for working with parents and overcoming school bureaucracies to provide children with important and objective information about their bodies, sexuality, and well-being. Discuss alternative methods of teaching girls sexual education within the context of holistic well being in order to obtain optimal understanding and acceptance of making healthy choices. Describe possible techniques and approaches for a successful teen outreach program.

Keywords: Adolescent Health, Minority Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Tulane Maternal & Child Public Health Leadership Training program
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.