269072 Providing poor urban adolescents in India a supportive environment: What are the challenges? (WAVE)

Monday, October 29, 2012

Rajib Acharya, PhD , Population Council, Dehli, India
Shireen Jejeebhoy, PhD , Population Council, New Dehli, India
The Well-being of Adolescents in Vulnerable Environments is a six-city global study of young people in vulnerable environments with the goal of discovering ways to connect youth to health. The six study sites are Baltimore, Md.; Johannesburg, South Africa; Shanghai, China; Delhi, India; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; and Ibadan, Nigeria. For the first phase of this study, researchers in each site used four different qualitative methods, including in-depth interviews, photovoice, community mapping, and focus groups, to collect data from 15 – 19 year olds and the adults who work with them on how adolescents view their communities including the health issues as well as the services and opportunities that exist in their communities. While the sites are located in very different environments, the similarities among the concerns young people have for their communities are striking.

In Dehli, findings revealed that boys and girls live very different lives in the same community. Boys have more access to technology while girls have very limited mobility and avoid health care seeking within their community as there are no qualified female practitioners. Personal safety is a concern for girls who face teasing and harassemnt from boys. However, premarital relationships do occur. Substance use and exposure to pornography among adolescent boys is a concern. The unpleasent physical environment impacts the way adolescents are treated by people outside the community. The research points to importance of understanding community level structural and social characteristics in relation to the primary health risks faced by adolescents in vulnerable environments.

Learning Areas:
Other professions or practice related to public health
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
1. To describe the relationship between young people’s perceptions of their community and health; 2. To compare the perceptions of health and community among youth living in vulnerable environments across four global sites; 3. To suggest policy and programmatic implications of the findings of this study.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am an Associate with the Population Council based in New Delhi, where I manage and conduct research on young people’s life transitions and sexual and reproductive health and behavior.
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.