Author(s): Kelly PJ, Bobo TJ, McLachlan K, Avery S, Burge SK
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Abstract Theories about women's health have not traditionally been extended to include the healthy development of young women. This article applies a women's health perspective to the implementation and evaluation processes of a gender-specific primary prevention program that worked with 9- to 14-year-old Hispanic girls in a low-income community. Although community-based after-school programs can be an important venue for education and girls' development, long-term effects are elusive to evaluate. The authors used ethnographic techniques to learn more about girls and their interactions with the program and to assess short-term program impact. Three themes were found: Program environment can contribute to girls' expression and behavior, issues of struggling families can slide girls into early adulthood, and mentoring can benefit both girls and adult women. Community-based primary prevention programs, although an essential part of a social safety net available to low-income girls, provide researchers with a unique set of evaluation challenges.
This article was published in Health Promot Pract
and referenced in Journal of Health Education Research & Development