Aline Gubrium, associate professor of Community Health Education in the School of Public Health and Health Sciences, has been awarded a two-year, $454,958 grant from The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development at the National Institutes of Health.
Gubrium’s study, “A Culture-Centered Narrative Approach for Health Promotion,” will examine strategies to promote safer sex among Latina youth, who experience high birth rates as well as higher rates of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.
“One-size-fits-all interventions to promote safer sex among Latina youth are often ineffective,” says Gubrium. “Culturally centered approaches aim to affect the sustained use of practices, policies, and programs by understanding the ‘insider’ or ‘native’ perception of barriers or facilitators to these practices.”
The research team will use digital storytelling by young Latina participants to map how they perceive meanings of sexuality, sexual health and well-being. Results of this process will be used in developing future sexual health interventions specific to the community’s cultural context.
Gubrium says, “I have been working on various iterations of this proposal for the past several years now. I was stunned when I finally received this award. It’s a classic lesson learned by academics—persistence, and patience for the revision process, can pay off. It came as a very nice surprise.”
The research team includes co-investigators Gloria DiFulvio, senior lecturer and undergraduate program director in Public Health Sciences, Sarah Perez McAdoo, director of the Youth Empowerment Adolescent Health Network (YEAH!), and Jeff Peterson, associate professor in communications at Washington State University. Also on the team is Vanessa Pabón of the Latino Youth Media Institute at WGBY in Springfield.