Online Program

Results from the safer latinos project: A PILOT intervention addressing a social ecology of YOUTH violence in an immigrant Latino community

Monday, November 4, 2013

Mark Edberg, PhD, MA, Department of Prevention and Community Health, Milken Institute School of Public Health, The George Washington University, Washington, DC
Sean Cleary, PhD, MPH, Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics, Milken Institute School of Public Health, George Washington University, Washington, DC
Elizabeth Andrade, DrPH, MPH, Department of Prevention and Community Health, George Washington University, Washington, DC
Background: The SAFER Latinos project was developed with community partners to address four key domains (family cohesion, school-related barriers, community cohesion, efficacy and alienation, and gang presence and violence norms) hypothesized as contributing to a social ecology of youth violence in a marginalized Latino immigrant community (Langley Park, MD).

Methods: Intervention components were designed to address each domain. Evaluation methods were quasi-experimental, using baseline and followup community surveys and focus groups in intervention and comparison communities. Extensive process data were collected. Analyses included factor analysis, correlations, baseline-followup comparisons, mediational analysis, and qualitative coding.

Results: Correlations for youth and young adults in Langley Park between hypothesized mediating variables and violent outcomes were statistically significant, supporting the model, with some qualifications. Mediational analysis supported a social ecology connected to violence. Focus groups portrayed differential risk profiles for recent immigrants vs. more acculturated and U.S.-born youth. Some intervention effects were demonstrated, including a reduction in violence-supportive attitudes, and drops in some violent crime in the intervention community – though community crime data were problematic and only suggestive.

Discussion: The SAFER Latinos pilot project tested implementation and effectiveness of an intervention addressing multiple components of a social ecology, instead of a single component. Data indicate that the model has promise, although a number of factors need further development. Given the demographic significance of this population, testing and development of community-based models is important for ongoing reduction of health disparities. Lessons learned are now being applied to a new intervention.

Learning Areas:

Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice

Learning Objectives:
Describe key elements of a social ecology contributing to youth violence in a marginalized Latino immigrant community. Explain the intervention developed to address this social ecology and the methods used to evaluate effectiveness. Discuss results of the research and implications for interventions to reduce health disparities in Latino immigrant communities.

Keyword(s): Violence Prevention, Latinos

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was Principal Investigator on the study described, and wrote abstract. I have been PI or Co-PI on numerous studies and projects related to health disparities among Latinos and other populations.
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.