Online Program

Fostering Youth Empowerment through Community Based Participatory Research

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Jessica Coleman, B.A., Center for Environmental Research in Children's Health (CERCH), University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA
Kimberly Parra, Clinica de Salud del Valle de Salinas, HERMOSA Study, Salinas, CA
Daniel Madrigal, MPH, California Environmental Health Tracking Program, Public Health Institute, Richmond, CA
Brenda Eskenazi, MA, PhD, Center for Environmental Research in Children's Health (CERCH), University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA
Kim Harley, PhD, Center for Environmental Research in Children's Health (CERCH), University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA
Background: An emerging area of environmental health research concerns chemicals in cosmetics. One promising approach to engage the public in this topic is to conduct research that includes local voices in the decision making process through community-based participatory research. Putting those ideas into practice, the CHAMACOS Youth Community Council (YCC) is an environmental health and youth empowerment program founded in Salinas, California to build capacity for youth to address environmental health issues by providing training in research methods, health education, and advocacy.

Methods: From 2012-2015 the YCC partnered with researchers from UC Berkeley to conduct the HERMOSA study, an intervention study to examine whether using low-chemical personal care products can reduce exposure levels to four endocrine-disrupting chemicals in 100 adolescent Latina females. The YCC were trained to conduct a scientific research study, disseminate results, create and implement action projects, and develop educational materials including brochures and videos related to breast cancer and the environment.

Results: The YCC completed the intervention study successfully and are actively involved in disseminating findings through presentations and sharing educational materials at community forums. Surveys and reflection papers suggest high self-efficacy for creating change in their community and motivation to raise community awareness about environmental health and justice issues.

Conclusion: The YCC are agents of change in their community, demonstrating a commitment to community health promotion and environmental health education. We will discuss strategies for empowering youth through CBPR research, action projects, and environmental health and justice advocacy work.

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
Environmental health sciences
Public health or related education
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Describe strategies for engaging youth in research, education and advocacy to promote community health Identify three methods for supporting youth in pursuing community outreach and advocacy objectives List three benefits of youth empowerment that can result from using CBPR approaches

Keyword(s): Youth, Community-Based Research (CBPR)

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was a research intern at the University of California, Berkeley School of Public Health where I was trained and supervised by Dr. Kim Harley, faculty in Maternal and Child Health and Associate Director of CERCH. I am also an undergraduate research assistant at San Diego State University working under the guidance of Dr. Kristen Wells to support her research in the areas of health disparities, cancer, and health communication.
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.