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By on July 23, 2010

Community based prevention in action

I was very excited when I read this in the article recently published in Family Community Health titled A Prospective Randomized Controlled Trial of an Interpersonal Violence Prevention Program With a Mexican American Community.

If a community’s challenges are viewed without consideration of the historical context of the impact of oppression, discrimination, and intergenerational trauma, they may be misunderstood and therefore be addressed in ways that perpetrate the problems rather than produce lasting change.

I had met the lead author Patricia Kelly several years ago at an American Public Health Association conference where she impressed me with her community centered approaches to violence prevention. She later joined a PreventConnect web conference on measuring prevention.

As I read this article about a Community-Based Participatory Research project in South Texas, I was pleased to see how the program was developed.  Instead of having the researchers select a curriculum to evaluation in a selected community, CBPR is a process in which the researchers work with the community members to design, implement and evaluate the program.

After careful consideration the community members decided to implement El Joven Noble, a curriculum developed in California by Jerry Tello (who was recently a guest on a PreventConnect web conference) and was adapted to address the community in South Texas

This process of having community members play an active role with researchers is a model that sexual violence and domestic violence prevention programs should consider. (In New York City, Project ENVISION is using CBPR approaches.) By having this active community engagement, the community member were able to shape a culturally relevant program with community support that demonstrated improvements in nonviolent self-efficacy and endorsement of program values.

As the authors conclude:

CBPR provides a methodology to engage groups and communities in the design, implemenataion, and evaluation of their own prevention programs. It is well suited for the inlcuison of community values, cultural heritate and hostrorical perspective into both the research process and the product. CBPR also emphasizes the empowerment of inidivudals and communities through the research process.

Below is the full abstraction and citation of this article:

A Prospective Randomized Controlled Trial of an Interpersonal Violence Prevention Program With a Mexican American Community.

Kelly PJ, Lesser J, Cheng AL, Oscos-Sanchez M, Martinez E, Pineda D, Mancha J. Family and Cmomunity Health 2010; 33(3): 207-215.

Click here for a link to the article abstract on the journal’s web site

(Copyright © 2010, Lippincott Williams and Wilkins)

Using methods of community-based participatory research, a prospective randomized controlled trial of a violence prevention program based on Latino cultural values was implemented with elementary school children in a Mexican American community. Community members participated in intervention program selection, implementation, and data collection. High-risk students who participated in the program had greater nonviolent self-efficacy and demonstrated greater endorsement of program values than did high-risk students in the control group. This collaborative partnership was able to combine community-based participatory research with a rigorous study design and provide sustained benefit to community partners.

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