Online Program

Sex in the CBO: Changing youth development professionals attitudes about and supporting their interactions around youth sexual health

Monday, November 4, 2013

Richard Goldsworthy, PhD, MSEd, Academic Edge, Inc., Bloomington, IN
Christopher M. Fisher, PhD, Department of Health Promotion, Social & Behavioral Health, College of Public Health, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE
Disproportionately high rates of sexually transmitted infection and unplanned pregnancy among adolescents suggest the continuing need for evidence-based sexuality education. Community-based organizations (CBOs) and their youth development professionals (YDP) have significant potential to promote adolescent sexual health; however, recent research indicates CBOs and YDP, despite willingness, are unprepared to do so, with lack of education and support resources being a particular barrier. We used iterative, user-centered development processes grounded in behavioral change theory, coupled with extensive input from CBO-based YDP and nationally respected sexual health experts, to develop support resources for YDP and embed them within a CBO-targeted sexual health portal. Evaluation activities included subject-matter-expert review, mixed-methods single-subject usability sessions, and a pilot multi-site field trial. This initial effort developed media rich web-based and traditional learning and support tools to increase CBO-based YDP awareness of their omnipresent role as sexual health role models, mindfulness of ways everyday behaviors reinforce positive and negative sexual health mores, and evidence-based responses to sexual health questions. Resources include case studies, modeling, video, animation, and interactive self-assessment. The effort was well-received by participants, led to positive changes in awareness, knowledge, and attitudinal/self-efficacy, and provided formative data for future efforts. CBO-based YDP are always already acting as models of sexual health and are also well-situated resources for more overt educational efforts. The current project has demonstrated these roles can be supported. Project resources will be shared and implications for future training and support efforts discussed. Supported in part by NIH/NICHD#HD070522.

Learning Areas:

Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
Describe the opportunity sexual health education presents within community based organizations and the needs of those organizations as they work in this area. Describe the development and evaluation of a set of research-based web and traditional resources for helping youth development professionals adopt and implement positive sexual health modeling, education, and support roles within the CBOs.

Keyword(s): Sexuality, Community-Based Health Promotion

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have over 15 years experience as principle investigator and lead researcher on a variety of public health educational and behavioral change efforts, including several large scale multiyear projects related to public, provider, and patient sexual health with both adult and adolescent populations. I am presently the principle investigator on the NIH grant supporting the research described in this abstract. My colleagues are nationally recognized expert in community based organizations and sexual health education.
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.

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