HealthWise South Africa
HealthWise is an evidence based intervention delivered in the Cape Town area of South Africa. The program focuses on free time and leisure and uses principles of self-determination, self-efficacy, and ecological systems framework to teach adolescents how to make decisions surrounding risk and time use.
Sexual Debut and Co-occurring Risks: At the time of sexual debut, individuals may increase the risk of unintended negative consequences (e.g., unwanted pregnancy, transmission of HIV/AIDS) by also participating in a co-occurring risk such as substance use or non-condom use. Results show leisure boredom is associated with the timing of sexual debut and substance use during sex and transnational sex at the sexual debut event. Gender differences were also observed.
Student Outcomes: To examine what combination of educator support elements are associated with significant program effects, a full factorial design was implemented with 56 schools sorted into eight conditions marked by a combination of between 0-3 educator support elements. All 56 schools received the intervention, however, different combinations of additional support and resources were delivered to educators based on randomization into conditions. Multi-level models and configured frequency analysis show evidence that the teacher consultation condition increases the effectiveness of HealthWise South Africa on reducing substance use initiation and escalation.
Identity as a Protective Factor
Using collective and narrative identity approaches, I worked with collaborators in South Africa to interview and facilitate focus groups with approximately 100 high school drop outs in the Cape Town area. The goal is to explore how the HealthWise program could be adapted or revised for delivery in a community setting. With as many as 60% of South African learners dropping out before finishing grade 12, a community level program may reach more youth. I am exploring identity as a possible target factor for building resilience in South African youth of color.
Field workers and supervisor at community center in Manenberg, Cape Town, South Africa. Site for data collection exploring needs and interest for community based program with school drop out youth. March, 2017