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School Health Program Helps Parents and Teens Learn About Adolescent Health Risks


Principal Investigator
Alwyn Cohall
atc1@columbia.edu

Project Identifier
Core Project (1998-2004)

Funding Source
PRC Program

Project Status
Not active


Host Institution
Columbia University: Harlem Health Promotion Center

Health Topics
School health
Description
Researchers developed and tested a school-based program to encourage and improve preventive health discussions between ninth-grade students and their doctors and to increase parents’ involvement in their children’s health. About 235 ninth-grade students, most of whom were African American or Hispanic, participated in small group sessions for learning the importance of preventive health care. The sessions included role play for discussions with doctors about sensitive health issues. Follow-up surveys showed participants were more likely than nonparticipants to feel comfortable talking to doctors about sex, emotional concerns, and alcohol and drug use. The researchers also conducted surveys of more than 150 parents of the ninth-graders and found the parents wanted information about adolescent health and wanted doctors to talk with teens about health-risk prevention. The parents’ concerns were shared with managed care providers at an annual conference, and health information was distributed to the parents who were surveyed as well as the school’s parent association. The school’s health committee—comprising students, parents, and teachers—created a health resource room for the parents and organized schoolwide health-promotion activities. Evaluation is under way; preliminary results show that the programs helped increase the school’s capacity to provide health information and direct teens to appropriate community resources.
 
Research Setting
School or school district
 
 
Race or Ethnicity
African American or Black | Hispanic or Latino
 
 
Gender
No specific focus
 
 
Age Group
Adolescents (12-19 years) | Adults (20-49 years)
 
 
 
 
 
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