247043 Student Athlete mentors decrease HIV risk in inner city youth

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 9:30 AM

Karen A. McDonnell, PhD , Prevention and Community Health, George Washington University SPHHS, Washington, DC
Sarah Kim, MPH , School of Public Health and Health Services, George Washingon University, Washington, DC
Tyler Spencer , Department of Prevention and Community Health, George Washington University SPHHS, Washington, DC
This project evaluates an innovative method of using sport to enhance the delivery of HIV educational messages among early adolescents. The Grassroot Project (GRP) (www.grassrootproject.org) is an HIV prevention program that uses Division I "student-athlete" role models to engage youth 10-14 years of age in sports and activity to deliver educational messages. Methods: Division I student athletes were trained as peer coaches, who served as role models for the youth throughout the program. A total of 273 predominantly minority youth ages 10-14 years participated in the program over two semesters and a total of 81 student athlete coaches were trained. Results: From pre-test to post-test after the 10 session weekly program, student participants exhibited increased knowledge about HIV. Increases in knowledge were correlated to self-efficacy (r=0.290, p=0.027), perceived vulnerability (r=0.330, p=0.000) and behavioral intent (0.469, p=0.000). Qualitative interviews were conducted with the athletes to gain a better understanding of the context of the activity sessions. Discussion: The Grassroot Project is playing a unique role as a forerunner in HIV prevention in younger youth in elementary and middle school. The program has the capacity to affect long-term change by influencing younger children who have yet to become sexually active and live in very high-risk communities within Washington, D.C. where HIV prevalence rates are estimated to be the highest in the US.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related education
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. Explain the benefits of using sport and activity to deliver an HIV prevention health education program among youth ages 10-14years. 2. Discuss the benefits and challenges to implementing an HIV prevention school based program using student athlete mentors in public schools.

Keywords: HIV/AIDS, Health Education

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I developed and oversaw data collection, I analyzed the data and developed the presentation.
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.