Developing a Tripartite Prevention Program for Impoverished Young Women Transitioning to Young Adulthood

Addressing Substance Use, HIV Risk, and Victimization by Intimate Partners

Published In: Journal of Prevention and Intervention In the Community, v. 37, no. 2, Apr. 2009, p. 112-128

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2009

by Elizabeth J. D'Amico, Dionne Barnes-Proby, Marylou Gilbert, Gery W. Ryan, Suzanne L. Wenzel

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Little is known about the transition to adulthood for adolescent females and young women who are impoverished and homeless. Co-occurrence of drug use and abuse, HIV risk, and victimization is notable among homeless women, highlighting the need for comprehensive interventions. Unfortunately, evidence-based prevention approaches addressing these inter-related problems among impoverished women transitioning into adulthood are lacking. To address this gap, we designed an innovative prevention program by utilizing open- and closed-ended interview data from impoverished women (n = 20), focus groups with community experts and providers (2 groups; n = 9), and a theoretical framework to direct the research. Information provided by our focus groups and interviews with women supported our theoretical framework and highlighted the importance of addressing normative information, providing skills training, and utilizing a non-confrontational approach when discussing these sensitive issues.

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