• Using Participatory Methods to Enhance Youth Engagement in Substance Use Research

      Valdez, Elizabeth S.; Valdez, Luis; Garcia, David O.; University of Arizona (SAGE Publications Inc., 2021-02-20)
      Youth engagement in substance use research is critical to the understanding of correlates that lead to detrimental health and social outcomes for adolescents. In addition to the documented challenges related to youth recruitment for substance use research, Latinx youth living on the U.S.–Mexico border may be difficult for researchers to engage in substance use research because they could face retributory harm if they identify their experiences to any entity perceived as an authority (e.g., researchers). Empirical findings that posit viable strategies to engage marginalized youth in substance use research are lacking. Participatory approaches show promise in increasing participation of historically underrepresented youth in research. Building on previously published work on our youth participatory action research mixed-methods study, this article discusses the youth-led participatory approach used to (1) develop and pilot test a culturally, regionally, and linguistically tailored substance use instrument and (2) engage 445 Latinx youth to participate in a cross-sectional study to assess epidemiological patterns of youth substance use on the U.S.–Mexico border. We share lessons learned related to the youth-led instrument design, youth-led recruitment strategy, and assuring participant confidentiality. © 2021 Society for Public Health Education.
    • Women’s Health Leadership Training to Enhance Community Health Workers as Change Agents

      Ingram, Maia; Chang, Jean; Kunz, Susan; Piper, Rosie; Zapien, Jill Guernsey de; Strawder, Kay; University of Arizona; Mariposa Community Health Center; U.S. Office of Women's Health (SAGE PUBLICATIONS INC, 2016-05)
      Objectives. A community health worker (CHW) is a frontline public health worker who is a trusted member of and/or has an unusually close understanding of the community served. While natural leadership may incline individuals to the CHW profession, they do not always have skills to address broad social issues. We describe evaluation of the Women’s Health Leadership Institute (WHLI), a 3-year training initiative to increase the capacity of CHWs as change agents. Methods. Pre-/postquestionnaires measured the confidence of 254 participants in mastering WHLI leadership competencies. In-depth interviews with CHW participants 6 to 9 months after the training documented application of WHLI competencies in the community. A national CHW survey measured the extent to which WHLI graduates used leadership skills that resulted in concrete changes to benefit community members. Multivariate logistic regressions controlling for covariates compared WHLI graduates’ leadership skills to the national sample. Results. Participants reported statistically significant pre-/post improvements in all competencies. nterviewees credited WHLI with increasing their capacity to listen to others, create partnerships, and initiate efforts to address community needs. Compared to a national CHW sample, WHLI participants were more likely to engage community members in attending public meetings and organizing events. These activities led to community members taking action on an issue and a concrete policy change. Conclusions. Leadership training can increase the ability of experienced CHWs to address underlying issues related to community health across different types of organizational affiliations and job responsibilities.