Familias En Accion: Educating &Changing Communities

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High rates of community violence are an important source of the health disparities found in racial and ethnic minority communities. The proposed research will implement a community-partnered intervention to address the disparity of excess violence and intentional injury in a low-income, Mexican-American community. The aim of the proposal is to evaluate the effect of a multi-level intervention on violent behaviors and their antecedents in families, schools, and communities. Specific research questions include: 1. What impact does the intervention have on school and community violence statistics? 2. Can the intervention change attitudes about the social acceptability of violence in families and communities? 3. Can the intervention increase self-efficacy, expectations, and behavioral capabilities for nonviolent conflict resolution? 4. How does the intervention impact family efficacy, collective efficacy, and social capital? 5. What are the feasibility, barriers, and utility of community-partnered research methods with low-income Mexican-American populations? Methods of participatory-action research will be used. A community collaborating council has been formed to select the area of research focus. The council will work in partnership with the research team to guide all components of the research project, and develop the intervention plan, the evaluation, and a long-term plan for sustaining the partnership. 7 randomly selected elementary schools and their surrounding neighborhoods in the target community of the Harlandale School District of San Antonio, Texas will participate in the violence prevention project; 7 control schools in the same district will receive instruction on nutrition. Intervention activities, based on social cognitive theory, will include implementation of a violence prevention curriculum, a media campaign on alternatives to violence, and a community network to reinforce prevention efforts. Comparisons of baseline and post-intervention measures will be made between children, families, schools and communities receiving intervention and control activities. To address the potential threat of contamination, baseline and post-intervention measures will also be collected at a demographically similar but geographically distant school district. This collaboration between the nurse-researcher, the multidisciplinary research team, and the targeted community provides an important venue for the dissemination of nursing knowledge and praxis in a Mexican-American community.

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