Maternal and Child Health Journal

, Volume 5, Issue 4, pp 215–224

Minority Health Risk Behaviors: An Introduction to Research on Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Violence, Pregnancy Prevention and Substance Use

  • Dorothy C. Browne
  • Patricia A. Clubb
  • Alison M. B. Aubrecht
  • Melvin Jackson


Aims: The goal of this article is to introduce the Research on Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Violence, and Pregnancy Prevention Project (RSVPP), which represents one response of the National Institutes of Health to reduce health disparities in racial and ethnic populations. Methods: As part of this effort, seven independent projects were funded to design, implement, and evaluate community-based intervention strategies aimed at reducing risk behaviors among minority youth. The interventions and research designs varied across the sites; however, all sites included a common set of questions in their questionnaires. This study focuses on the lessons learned about community-based research across all sites. Results: Sites learned many lessons regarding community-based research, including: the value of building trust, the dynamic nature of communities, the intensive time and resources necessary for success, dissimilarities between researcher and community goals, the value of clear communication, the importance of recognizing the contribution of community members and expressing gratitude for their efforts; the difficulty of disseminating findings regarding sensitive topics, and the need for continuation of interventions. Conclusion: Community involvement posed challenges, but enhanced the quality of the implementation and the evaluation of the interventions. This special issue includes findings from the RSVPP sites.

community-based research adolescent behavior violence sexually transmitted diseases pregnancy substance use minority groups ethnic groups health disparities prevention 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Allen JP, Hauser ST, Bell KL, O'Conner TG. Longitudinal assessment of autonomy and relatedness in adolescent-family interactions as predictors of adolescent ego development and self-esteem. Child Dev 1994;65:179–94.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Irwin CE, Millstein SG. Biopsychosocial correlates of risktaking behaviors during adolescence. J Adolesc Health 1986;7:82S–96S.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    United States Department of Health and Human Services. Healthy people 2010 objectives: Draft for public comment. Washington: United States Government Printing Office, 1998.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Bureau of the Census. Statistical abstract of the United States: 1991 (111th ed., No. 105).Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1991.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Guzman, B. The Hispanic population: Census 2000 brief. Washington, DC: U.S. Census Bureau, 2001.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Kann L, Kinchen SA, Williams BI, Ross JG, Lowry R, Grunbaum JA, Kolbe LJ, State & Local YRBSS Coordinators. Youth risk behavior surveillance-United States, 1999. MMWR 2000;49(SS05):1–96.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Resnick MD, Bearman PS, Blum RW, Bauman KE, Harris KM, Jones J, Tabor J, Beuhring T, Bieving RE, Shew M, Ireland M, Bearinger LH, Udry JR. Protecting adolescents from harm: Findings from the National Longitudinal Study on Adolescent Health. JAMA 1997;278:823–32.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Oetting ER, Beauvais F. Adolescent drug use: Findings of national and local surveys. J Consult and Clin Psychol 1990;58:385–94.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Brown LS. Alcohol abuse prevention in African-American communities. J Nat Med Assoc 1993;85:665–73.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Peters KD, Kochanek KD, Murphy SL. Deaths: Final data for 1996. National vital statistics reports, Vol 47, No 9. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics, 1998.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    O'Donnell L, Stueve A, San Doval A., Duran R, Atnafou R, Haber D, Johnson N, Murray H, Grant U, Juhn G, Tang J, Bass J, Piessens P. Violence prevention and young adolescents' participation in community youth service. J Adolesc Health 1999;24:28–37.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Windle M, Shope JT, Bukstein O. Alcohol use. In: Dilemente RJ, Hansen WB, Ponton, LE, editors. Handbook of adolescent health risk behavior. New York: Plenum, 1996:115–59.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Cooper LM, Peirce RS, Huselid RF. Substance use and sexually risk taking among Black and White adolescents. Health Psychol 1994;13:251–62.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Jessor R. Risk behavior in adolescence: A psychosocial framework for understanding and action. J Adolesc Health 1991;12:597–605.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Hawkins JD, Catalano RF, Miller JY. Risk and protective factors for alcohol and other drug problems in adolescence and early adulthood: Implications for substance abuse prevention. Psychol Bull 1992;112:64–105.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Browne DC, Malone PS, Wilson-Brewer R, Humphrey AD, Clubb PA. Perceived discrimination, ethnic factors, and violent behaviors among African American adolescents. Paper presented at Annual Meeting of American Public Health Association, New York, 1996.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Chewning B, Douglas J, Kokotalio P. Protective factors associated with Indian adolescents' safer sexual practices. Maternal Child Health J 2001;5:273–280.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Bolland JM, McCallum DM, Lian B, Bailey CJ, Rowan P. Uncertainty about the future, hopelessness, and violence among inner-city youths. Maternal Child Health J 2001;5:237–244.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Pleck JH, O'Donnell LN. Gender attitudes and health risk behaviors in urban African-American and Latino early adolescents. Maternal Child Health 2001;5:265–272.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Jemmott JB, Jemmott LS, Hines PM, Fong GT. The theory of planned behavior as a model of intentions for fighting among African American and Latino adolescents. Maternal Child Health 2001;5:253–262.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Building community partnerships in research: Recommendations and strategies. Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1998.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Hatch J, Moss N, Saran A, Presley-Cantrell L, Mallory C. Community research: Partnership in Black communities. Amer J Prev Med 1993;9:27–31.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Petraitis J, Flay BR, Miller TQ. Reviewing theories of adolescent substance use: Organizing pieces in the puzzle. Psychol Bull 1995;117:67–86.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Bronfenbrenner U. The ecology of human development. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1979.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Bronfenbrenner U. Ecology of the family as a context for human development: Research perspectives. Dev Psychol 1986;22:723–42.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Magnusson D, Cairns RB. Developmental science: Toward a unified framework. In: Cairns RB, Elder GH, Costello EJ, editors. Developmental science. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 1996:7–30.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Hawkins JD, Weiss JG. The social development model: An integrated approach to delinquency prevention. J Primary Prev 1985;6:73–97.Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Hawkins JD, Lishner DM, Catalano RF. Childhood predictors and the prevention of adolescent substance abuse. NIDA Monograph Series 1985;56:75–126.Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    RSVPP Data Coordinating Center. Research on Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Violence, and Pregnancy Prevention (RSVPP). Research Triangle Park, NC: Research Triangle Institute, 1995.Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Mittelmark MB. Balancing the requirements and needs of communities. In: Bracht N, editor. Health promotion at the community level. Newbury Park, CA: Sage, 1990:125–39.Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Chavis DM, Stucky PE, Wandersman A. Returning basic research to the community:A relationship between scientist and citizen. Amer Psychol 1983;38:424–34.Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Lillie-Blanton M, Hoffman SC. Conducting an assessment of health needs and resources in a racial/ethnic minority community. Health Serv Res 1995;30:225–36.Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Randall-David E. Strategies for working with culturally diverse communities and clients. Bethesda, MD: Association for the Care of Children's Health, 1989.Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Giesbrecht N, Ferris J. Community-based research initiatives in prevention. Addiction 1993;88(s):83S–93S.Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Debro J, Conley DJ. School and community politics: Issues, concerns, and implications when conducting research in African-American communities. In: De La Rosa MR, editor. Drug abuse among minority youth: Advances in research and methodology. Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1993:239–307.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dorothy C. Browne
    • 1
  • Patricia A. Clubb
    • 2
  • Alison M. B. Aubrecht
    • 3
  • Melvin Jackson
    • 4
  1. 1.Drug Abuse Research ProgramMorgan State UniversityBaltimore
  2. 2.Department of Maternal and Child HealthUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel Hill
  3. 3.Department of Psychology: Social and Health SciencesDuke UniversityDurham
  4. 4.North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Division of Public HealthNorth Carolina Advisory Committee on Cancer Coordination and ControlRaleigh

Personalised recommendations