What's Culture Got to Do with It? Prevention Programs for African American Adolescent Girls

Department of Psychology, Virginia Commonwealth University VCU, Richmond, VA 23284-2018, USA.
Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved (Impact Factor: 1.1). 12/2005; 16(4 Suppl B):38-47. DOI: 10.1353/hpu.2005.0109
Source: PubMed


This paper examines prevention programming for African American girls by placing the prevention process within the larger African and African American cultural context. We provide an overview of the theories and issues we consider most relevant to African American culture, including Africentric theory, ethnic identity, gender identity and relational theory, developmental issues, the community context, and historical considerations. Drawing from our own drug prevention work, we provide examples of how to incorporate culture into prevention programs to make them most relevant for the target population. We also summarize our own efforts to create culturally appropriate prevention interventions and their impact on the girls in our programs. We conclude with suggested directions for future research into culture-specific prevention programs.

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    • "Cultural perspectives relevant to the study's target population were also incorporated into this framework and used to guide focus group discussions. Examples of concepts relevant to HIV prevention that have been explored using these perspectives include communal behavior, self-image and self-concepts, racial identity, ethnic pride, adaptive coping, and health promotion [16] [17] [18]. In support of including African American perspectives in prevention programs, others have argued that the inclusion of values associated with such perspectives make interventions more effective and relevant to the target population [19] [20]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Persistent health disparities in HIV on racial and ethnic minorities are evident in recent national reports of HIV rates. Furthermore, high rates of other sexually transmitted infections among minority adolescents point to the need for risk reduction interventions. Research in disproportionately affected rural communities in the Southern United States suggests that sexual risk reduction interventions targeting these communities should address contextual factors that perpetuate health disparities. In this article, we report findings on a formative study that was conducted to identify rural adolescent perspectives on sociocontextual influences on sexual risk behaviors. Thirty eight rural adolescents ages 12-16 participated in initial and follow-up focus group sessions that were segmented by age group (12-14, 14-16) and gender (male, female). A comprehensive theoretical model addressing the complex interplay of multi-level factors associated with risk behavior guided the study. Qualitative content analyses were used to analyze transcribed audiotapes of focus group sessions and observation notes. Emergent themes supported the theoretical model and revealed modifiable contextual and decision-making factors; and related consequences that can be used in risk reduction interventions. Collaborating with target population provided relevant input for a user-centric approach to intervention development aimed at reducing sexual risk behaviors.
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    • "Examples of concepts relevant to HIV prevention that have been studied using the Africanist worldview include ethnic pride, racial identity, self-image and self-concept, peer norms, communal behavior, academic achievement, adaptive coping, and health promotion (Belgrave, Townsend, & Cherry, 1997; Nobles, 1986). Building on the Africanist worldview, Corneille and colleagues (2005) argued that incorporating values associated with this perspective into prevention programs made them more effective and relevant to the target population. "
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    ABSTRACT: The search for intervention strategies appropriate for young adolescents has recently led to the use of digital games. Digital gaming interventions are promising because they may be developmentally appropriate for adolescent populations. The gaming approach also capitalizes on an inherent interest to adolescents and circumvents traditional barriers to access to prevention interventions faced in some geographical areas. Notwithstanding, research on gaming in HIV prevention is quite limited. In this review article, we examine the need for contextually relevant HIV prevention interventions among young adolescents. From this, we provide a theoretical framework for exploring contextually relevant HIV risk factors and a foundation for gathering and using input from the target population to adapt an existing game or to create a developmentally appropriate and contextually relevant HIV prevention game.
    The Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care: JANAC 08/2012; 24(1). DOI:10.1016/j.jana.2012.03.005 · 1.27 Impact Factor
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    • "Thus, although studies have indicated that social support is beneficial for male and female youth (e.g., Bean et al. 2006), it is plausible that there is gender variation in which social support domains buffer against racerelated discrimination. Studies have indicated that familial support can serve an important protective and compensatory function for African American girls (Cooper 2009; Corneille et al. 2005; Trask-Tate et al. 2010). Moreover, among gender comparative studies, investigations have found that African American girls report greater levels of family support (Tamis-Lemonda et al. 2009). "
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    ABSTRACT: The current investigation explores the promotive and protective role of family and community-specific social support on the association between perceived racial dis-crimination and African American adolescents' adjustment (e.g., depressive symptoms, school suspensions, school engagement). One thousand nine-hundred forty-two African American adolescents (ages 12–18, M = 15.12; SD = 1.83; 59 % female) from a large Midwestern city participated in this investigation. Regression analyses revealed that per-ceived racial discrimination was associated with less positive adjustment outcomes for boys and girls. Additionally, there was partial support for gender variation in the promotive role of social support and adolescent adjustment. In particular, while only maternal support was associated with boys' adjustment, both maternal and paternal support was associ-ated with girls' adjustment. Also, there was partial support for gender differentiation in the strength and directionality of protective factors. Though in an unpredicted direction, father support moderated the relationship between perceived racial discrimination and girls' adjustment. Community supports (religious connection and mentor presence) emerged as protective factors for boys'. Findings highlight the role of gender in understanding potential promotive and protective factors for African American adolescents.
    Journal of Child and Family Studies 06/2012; 22(1). DOI:10.1007/s10826-012-9608-y · 1.42 Impact Factor
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