and Health Problems
Child and Adolescent Health
Childhood and adolescence are periods when social and behavioral factors are particularly powerful determinants of health. It is also a period when life-long health behaviors are established. CHC faculty are developing a comprehensive science and policy agenda examining determinants of health, health behaviors, and the efficacy of multilevel interventions to improve the health of diverse populations of children and adolescents. Key issues include:
In March 2002, Bonnie Halpern-Felsher, PhD was funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human development for a 4 year study of Adolescent Risk Judgments and HIV Risk. The most rapidly growing subgroup in the AIDS epidemic are young adults, with the majority of HIV transmission occurring through sexual activity during adolescence. This study will use a prospective, longitudinal methodology to determine whether low risk judgments motivate behavior or are reflective of behavioral experiences. The relationship between risk behavior and sexual behavior will be analyzed by gender, race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and development.
In Spring 2002, Jeanne M. Tschann, PhD (PI) and Elena Flores, PhD (co-PI) received $3.4 million for a 5 year study to examine the impact of sexual relationship dynamics on condom use among Mexican American and Central American adolescent heterosexual partners. The proposed research is among the first empirical studies to examine how relationship dynamics such as relative power and influence strategies are related to condom use among Latino adolescents. It is also among the first studies of HIV risk behavior to include both sexual partners, an approach that will provide more complete information about relationship dynamics, and will facilitate the development of couple-based interventions. The results will provide critical information to refine STD/HIV interventions that teach safer sex negotiation skills, and to develop culturally appropriate interventions for Latino adolescents.
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