241148 How Did We Get Here? Moving From A Community Health Initiative to the Development of a Mixed-Method Study of Adolescent Sexual Health

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 8:30 AM

Shalon Irving, PhD, MPH, CHES , School of Community Health and Policy, Morgan State University, Baltimore, MD
Debra Hickman, MDiv , Sisters Together and Reaching, Inc., Baltimore, MD
African American adolescent females continue to be at an increased risk for a myriad of sexual and reproductive health issues including HIV, STIs, and unplanned teenage pregnancy. The extant research has not fully explained the reason for continued disparities in the sexual health of minority female adolescents. The continued need for resources, information, and strategies to improve the sexual health of this population was demonstrated in the findings of the 2010 Sex Lies and the Ugly Truth Conference hosted by Sisters Together and Reaching, Inc. Conference evaluations revealed that approximately 89% of youth participants desired additional information and support about sexual health decisions. Moreover, 98.6% of adult participants desired additional resources to enhance inter-generational communication skills and strategies.

Thus, the Heshima (Swahili for Respect) Projectóa mixed-method study of adolescents (ages 13 to 19) being conducted as an academic-community partnershipówas developed. Incorporating quantitative surveys, photo voice, and in-depth interviews with selected adults in the participants social support network, the information gained will help inform the development of effective public health programs, campaigns and policies to address the needs identified by the population. This innovative project utilizes information from parents and other support network members to better understand the actual and perceived support systems of adolescents. The overall goal is to gain a comprehensive picture of the issues contributing to the sexual health decision making of urban African American female adolescents.

Learning Areas:
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify the issues contributing to sexual health decision making of urban female adolescents. 2. Assess the role of inter-generational support networks in the sexual health decisions of adolescents.

Keywords: Adolescent Health, Sexual Risk Behavior

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I am a Kellogg Foundation Community Health Scholar currently conducting research in this area.
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.