262665 Reintroducing public health to hip-hop culture: Music, risk and life-course health

Monday, October 29, 2012

Raphael Travis Jr., DrPH, LCSW , School of Social Work, Texas State University - San Marcos, San Marcos, TX
Hip-Hop culture was born amidst economic instability, gang conflict, and social alienation, an environment filled with health risks, yet teeming with innovation and possibility. Pioneers of Hip-Hop culture were empowered by creatively expressing themselves visually (graffiti), physically (bboying), orally (emceeing), and by instrumentation (deejaying). These cultural innovators gained strength through their identification with and connection to others in similar circumstances. The same connections persist today. At their strongest, the voices of rap music are individually empowering, but they can also be collectively empowering, and even instigate collective action to address issues that put individuals at risk. Therapeutic uses of rap music seek to harness this strength to improve individual and community well-being. Thus, the desirable and measured outcomes of these therapeutic efforts should be similarly strengths-based and reflect the quality of the relationships between individuals and their environment. To move research and practice forward, efforts to use Hip-Hop music and culture within prevention and health promotion strategies must include clearly measured concepts and therapeutic models. Concepts and models must more precisely capture variability in strengths and the nature of person environment relationships over time. This paper uses the individual and community empowerment framework as a structure to illustrate important planning and evaluation themes using Hip-Hop culture. Self-esteem, resilience, youth development, civic engagement, community health and risk behaviors are described within the context of existing research, contemporary Hip-Hop culture, and community-based interventions. Specific measurement opportunities for health outcomes are described for practice.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Other professions or practice related to public health
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe life-course health promotion within the context of the individual and community empowerment (ICE) framework. 2. Identify specific examples of community-based interventions utilizing Hip-Hop culture to improve health outcomes.

Keywords: Adolescents, Youth

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: My research revolves around understanding relationships among external and internal developmental assets as indicators of positive youth development and health risk behaviors. Specifically, I examine developmental settings such as out-of-school time (OST) programs to determine their ability to provide critical developmental ingredients of positive supports and opportunities. I also explore the unique potential of the arts as therapeutic strategies to facilitate health and well-being outcomes.
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.