An Exploration of the Health-Related Needs and Assets of Children Living in Community Founded by Former Slaves
Methods: A concurrent mixed methods design was used to gather quantitative (i.e., secondary analysis, intercept interviews) and qualitative (i.e., focus groups, individual interviews) data. Descriptive statistics were calculated. Qualitative data were coded and major themes were identified and illustrative quotes selected.
Results: On a 10-point scale, lack of physical activity (M= 7.74), alcohol use (M= 7.66), and tobacco use (M=7.62) emerging as the top three health-related issues for youth in Willow Hill. In interviews, obesity was the number one self-reported health issue. Contributing factors included poor diet, physical inactivity, and lack of resources for physical activity and healthy food options. Culture, faith, and characteristics of youth (e.g., “good kids”) were noted as major assets.
Conclusion: Obesity was the number one health issue reported in this former slave community. Environmental factors such as lack of grocery stores containing healthy food options and lack of infrastructure to support physical activity emerged as major barriers to addressing obesity. Culture, faith, and characteristics of youth will serve as key resources in transforming a well-loved institution into a resource for prevention and education.
Learning Areas:Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Advocacy for health and health education
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Diversity and culture
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research
Discuss historical factors that affect the health and wellbeing of African American youth residing in rural, underserved communities. Identify the major health needs of African American youth residing in rural, underserved communities. Identify assets that can be used to address the health needs of African American youth residing in rural, underserved communities.
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have considerable expertise in community health assessment. I supervised this assessment in conjunction with the Willow Hill Heritage and Renaissance Center and graduate students.
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.