The growth of the Latino youth population, combined with the reality that many Latino adolescents live in environments characterized by social disparities, reveals a compelling need to address health inequalities affecting Latinos through effective health promotion programs designed by and for this population. This article presents findings from a pilot study of Encuentro, a health promotion program for young Latino teens and their parents. Developed by a community–university partnership, Encuentro aims to bolster internal assets, familial and cultural supports for young teens’ positive development, and healthy sexual decision making and behaviors. Encuentro was pilot tested with 49 Latino families at 3 community sites in Minneapolis/St. Paul. Families were assigned to a program group or a control group. Pilot study findings confirm program feasibility and acceptability. Compared to the control group, program group youth reported substantially more involvement in activities celebrating Latino culture, and greater communication with their parents about sexual health topics. Parents in the program group reported greater ethnic pride, engaging in more activities to share Latino values and traditions with their teens, greater communication with their teens about sexual health topics, and increased parental monitoring than did parents in the control group. Findings demonstrate the potential of the Encuentro program.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors would like to thank the Encuentro project?s youth, parent, and community partners for their contributions to this pilot study and their involvement throughout the project. This research was supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Cooperative Agreement No. U48 DP000063, PI: M. D. Resnick). The contents of this article are the responsibility solely of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the funder.
© 2016, © 2016 Society for Public Health Education.
- child/adolescent health
- community-based participatory research
- health promotion
- health research
- minority health
- sexual health