142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

Young Expectant Parents Experiences of Discrimination

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Monday, November 17, 2014 : 2:45 PM - 3:00 PM

Sheri Johnson, PhD , Department of Pediatrics, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI
Nicole Robinson, MPH, MSW , Helen Bader School of Social Welfare, University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI
Chelsea Hamilton, M.S. , Department of Pediatrics, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI
Megan Howard, M.A. , School of Public Health, University of Milwaukee Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI
Melodee Nugent, M.A. , Department of Pediatrics, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI
Pippa Simpson, Ph.D. , Department of Pediatrics, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI
Paul Florsheim, PhD , School of Public Health, University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI
Adolescents experience many stressors before and during the transition to parenthood. Perceived racial discrimination, a particular type of stressor, has been linked to mental health and health behavior outcomes among adolescents. (Priest et al, 2013) Local conditions such as hyper segregation, mass incarceration and concentrated poverty may impact both exposure to racial discrimination and coping. We hypothesized that understanding experiences of discrimination, ethnic identity and coping would be relevant to the process of culturally adapting a couple-focused intervention previously tested with adolescent expectant parents living in a geographically and socioeconomically distinct environment. (Florsheim, 2012)

Fifty two primiparous expectant mothers and fathers (N=104) in a Midwestern urban setting participated in a trial of the Young Parenthood Program. Expectant mothers and fathers, ages 16-25, completed a modified version of the Everyday Discrimination Scale, and the previously published Multigroup Ethnic Identity Measure and the Coping Self-Efficacy scale. Data was collected during a baseline assessment administered prior to 26 weeks gestation.  Structured interview data regarding perceptions of opportunity and discrimination was also collected.

Results indicate that males reported higher levels of perceived discrimination than females, among both self-identified African Americans and Hispanics (p <.001). Among African Americans, perceived discrimination and coping self-efficacy were negatively correlated. Qualitative results reveal that adolescents experience multiple levels of racism including internalized, personally mediated and institutional racism (Jones, 2000).

Study results are being used to inform ongoing program adaptation.  Attention to the unique characteristics of the local environment which may impact program recruitment, retention and outcomes is important.

Learning Areas:

Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe measurement of perceived discrimination among adolescents and young adults. Compare self-reported perceived discrimination among males and females Discuss implications for the development of interventions to promote positive co-parenting

Keyword(s): Adolescents, Stress

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the Medical College of Wisconsin Center for the Advancement of Underserved Children. I have expertise in health equity and disparities, family mental health, governmental public health and community mental health.
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.