You Gotta Have FAITH

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You Gotta Have FAITH

You GOTTA HAVE

Faith!”

LEAD PRESENTER:

Quinn Gentry, MBA, PhD

Bloomberg School of Public Health, Urban Health Institute, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD

Messages of Empowerment Productions, LLC, Atlanta, GA

CO-PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATORS

Debra Hickman, MDiv, Sisters Together and Reaching, Inc., Baltimore, MD

Robert W. Blum, MD, MPH, PhD , Bloomberg School of Public Health, Urban Health Institute, Johns

Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD

Prepared for the American Public Health Association APHA 139th Annual Meeting and Exposition

Tuesday, November 1, 2011 * Washington, DC

Funding Source: Grant No. 1R21MD005993-01

Department of Health and Human Services National Institutes of Health * National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities


PRESENTATION DISCLOSURE

The following personal financial relationships with commercial interests

relevant to this presentation existed during the past 12 months:

“No relationships to disclose”


The lead presenter wishes to acknowledge the leadership of the co-

presenters and Co-PIs: Dr. Blum and Rev. Hickman

Additional people who contributed to this project include:

Donald Brown

Samantha Illangasekare

Eric Rice

Teri Williams

James Wilson

The clergy who serve on the FAITH Study Advisory Board


A.

Highlight the conceptual framework used to develop a exploratory study to better

understand how youth ministries influence young people’s behaviors

B.

Explore how epidemiological data was used to develop an ethnographic study to

explore the influence youth ministers have with: a) the pastors and ministers of

their church; b) the parents and guardians of church-going adolescents; and c)

their direct influence on, the adolescents themselves.

C.

Examine the CBPR methodology underway to study the extent to which youth

ministries can influence sexual and reproductive health issues among young

people in the church and in the community near the church

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WE GOTTA HAVE

Faith!


1. The study is known as “The FAITH Study” :

Faith-based Adolescents Involved in Total Health

2. The FAITH Study is designed to help public health researchers and advocates

understand the influence youth ministries have on adolescent development

3. The findings from the FAITH Study will contribute to the development of more

relevant and respectful health interventions for adolescents in faith-based settings

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1. Faith-based organizations remain as trusted institutions

Churches and church leaders have a community credibility that is unmatched relative to other

institutions in the African American community

2. Faith-based leaders continue to serve as important messengers

The continued significance of “the African American preacher” as teacher, spiritual leader,

politician, social change agent, and more recently a change agent for health disparities and

inequities

3. Collaborative partnerships between the faith community and public health

institutions have improved over time to address some of the most salient

health problems in the African American community

Heart disease

Cancer

Diabetes and other weight-related health issues

Adolescent sexual health

1. Information sharing (one time only)

2. Scared straight and fear of sex type programs

3. Abstinence only discussions

4. Virginity pledges as rites of passage programs

5. Abstinence plus medically accurate information about reproduction, contraception, protection, and

infection

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1. “Technically” all adolescents are at risk

2. Faith-based families are perplexed as to

how to raise “PG” children in a X-rated

world

3. The “disappearance of “pre-adolescent”

4. The mainstreaming of teen motherhood

5. Still need a faith-based health initiative

for young men of color

6. Young people leaving church not

adequately prepared for life’s

challenges

You Gotta Have FAITH!

7. Youth ministries ill-equipped to address

current array of issues presented by

teenagers and their families

a) Burning out volunteers

b) Limited knowledge of and capacity to address

more complex social and psychological issues

faced by today’s teens

8. Faith community “touches” on key

aspects of adolescent health, but

primarily with girls

a) Spiritual well-being

b) Physical health (dance teams, step teams)

c) Mental health and coping (support groups and

family counseling)

d) Social and peer relations (rites of passage

programs)

e) Sexual decision-making (?)

9. The faith community needs to be part of

the research and development process

to create more relevant health education

products for a faith-based setting

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The Faith-based Roles and Settings

where Youth are Influenced

Faith-based Leader

Faith-based Youth Ministry

Leader

Faith-based Youth Ministry Workers

1. Religious education

teachers

2. Sports and recreation

3. Mentoring and Tutoring

Programs

4. Rites of Passage and life

skills Programs

5. Music, dance, and drama

programs

6. Youth and family counseling

Other faith-based stakeholders

A THEORY OF FAITH-BASED INFLUENCE AND

Diverse types of

Adolescents

1. Age

2. Gender

3. Levels of religious

attachment

4. Sexual risk behavior

Caregivers of Adolescents

1. 2-parent families

2. Single parent families

3. Grand families

4. Other types of caregivers

You Gotta Have FAITH!

ADOLESCENTS

External Environment

Influences and Influencers on

Adolescent Development

1. Peers

2. Older siblings

3. Non-church attending kin

4. Community-based

programs (mentoring or

after-school programs)

5. School (adults and

programs)

6. Interactive media

7. Neighborhood social

norms

Adolescents in the community

where the church is located,

but not an active part of the

church

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The Faith Study is being implemented in six (6) key phases. The first two (2) phases are

90% complete. Phase three (3) is just getting underway.

PHASE 1

PHASE 2

PHASE 3

Identify the worse 10 communities for teen pregnancy

outcomes & related socio-economic indicators of risk in

Baltimore City

Identify faith-based organizations that serve in the 10

communities with the worse teen pregnancy outcomes in

Baltimore City

Conduct a 20-item survey to determine to what extent are

faith-based organizations currently working with young people

in the area of adolescent health education

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Phases four (4) through six (6) center on partnering with the faith community within

neighborhoods that have the worse outcomes for teen pregnancy. This is where the

advisory board comes in!

PHASE 4

PHASE 5

PHASE 6

Convene and engage a faith-based advisory board

Conduct “ethnographic research” at the invitation of select

churches

Conduct debriefing and data sharing sessions

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PHASE 1

Identify the worse 10 communities for teen pregnancy outcomes &

related socio-economic indicators of risk in Baltimore City

THE WORSE 10 NEIGHBORHOODS FOR TEEN PREGNANCY IN BALTIMORE

NEIGHBORHOOD

RANKINGS OF 10 NEIGHBORHOODS WITH THE

HIGHEST % OF BIRTHS TO TEENAGE MOTHERS (15-

19)

1 = HEALTHIEST

55 = LEAST HEALTHY

You Gotta Have FAITH!

PERCENT OF BIRTHS TO TEENAGE

MOTHERS (15-19 YEARS)

BALTIMORE CITY 19%

1) Madison/East End 55 31%

2) Greenmount East * * 54 29%

3) Clifton-Berea * * 53 28%

4) Sandtown-Winchester/Harlem * * 52 28%

5) Midway/Coldstream 51 27%

6) Southwest Baltimore 50 27%

7) Edmondson Village * * 49 27%

8) Belair Edison * * 48 27%

9) Southern Park Heights * * * 47 26%

10) Washington Village/Pigtown 46 26%

* Faith leaders who confirmed for today’s meeting are pastors of churches located in these neighborhoods

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1.0 SEXUAL HEALTH RISK FACTORS

Births to teen mothers

Rates of HIV/AIDS

Rates of chlamydia, syphilis, gonorrhea herpes

2.0 DEMOGRAPHIC PROFILE

Total Population

% of young people between the ages of 0 -17 years old

% of young people between the ages of 18 – 24 years old

Race & Ethnicity of the community

3.0 SOCIO-ECONOMIC CONTEXT

% of all families in this neighborhood have children under 18

%) of all households with children under 18 in this neighborhood

are single-parent families

% of all households in this neighborhood have an annual income

of less than $25,000.00

% of all families in this community live in poverty

% of all adults between the age of 25 and 64 in this neighborhood

have only a high school diploma or GED and no further education

The official unemployment rate for each neighborhood

4.0 VIOLENCE, NEGLECT, AND ABUSE DATA

Juvenile Arrest Rates

No. of young people between the ages of 10 -17 from this neighborhood

were arrested in 2005 with no. classified at “drug-related” and no.

classified as “violent” (2005)

Child Abuse and Neglect

No. of young people between the ages of 10-17 were documented as

having experienced child abuse or neglect (2001)

Domestic Violence

For every 1000 people in this community, no. of calls made to police

regarding a domestic violence (2004)

(41.3 calls per 1000 people in Baltimore City)

5.0 FAITH-BASED ORGANIZATIONS LOCATED IN

THE NEIGHBORHOOD

Current state of adolescent programs

Extent to which sexual health is addressed

Level of readiness to address health needs of adolescent in the church and in

the community

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PHASE 3

YOUTH

MINISTRY

LEADER

PASTORS

Convene and engage a faith-based advisory board

YOUTH/YOUNG

ADULTS

AGES 16-24

You Gotta Have FAITH!

1. Invited 20 pastors from churches in the 10

communities with the worse outcomes for

teen pregnancy

2. 10 pastors accepted and signed MOUs

3. 3 convenings to date to build the FAITH

Study Advisory Board as an authentic voice

in guiding the ethnographic research process

4. Next steps include expanding the advisory

board to include youth ministry leaders and

young people

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The researchers are respectful of doctrine

The research complements questions the Church is concerned with: How to remain

relevant among this generation of young people?

The research seeks to build upon existing youth programs and capacity within

churches

The researchers will spend time interacting with youth ministry leaders and the young

people they serve

The research team will work collaboratively in using the findings to customize health

education programs that fit the unique needs of churches and the communities within

which they serve

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1

2

3

4

5

Advise and guide the researchers to assure that things are done “with

decency and in order”

Appoint youth ministry leaders to work with the research team for the

ethnographic phase of the study

Select young people between the ages of 16-24 to serve on a youth advisory

board

Encourage other pastors to complete the 20-item survey for a comprehensive

assessment of faith-based approaches to adolescent health development

Assist with interpreting and using the study’s findings to expand capacity and

resources in the faith community for addressing adolescent health

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PHASE 4

PART 1 OF THE SURVEY

Conduct a 20-item survey to determine to what extent are faith-based organizations

currently are working with young people in the area of adolescent health education

Survey 200 church leaders and their youth ministry leaders throughout Baltimore City

Small and large churches

Diverse types of youth ministries

1. Church demographics (location, denomination, etc.)

2. Role(s) of person answering survey

3. Approximate no. of adolescents in attendance on a weekly basis

4. Types of ministries available for adolescents*

5. Estimate of rates of teen pregnancy among congregants

6. Degree to which adolescent sexuality or teen pregnancy prevention is addressed*

7. Degree to which the person responding believes that it is feasible to have discussions about

adolescent sexuality or teen pregnancy prevention under certain conditions*

PART 2 OF THE SURVEY

Inquiries about how to build better partnerships between the faith community and public health

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PHASE 5

ETHNOGRAPHIC RESEARCH FOR THIS STUDY MEANS THAT RESEARCHERS WILL “GO TO

CHURCH”

Observing youth ministries in action

Conduct “ethnographic research” at the invitation of select churches to

better understand the influence of youth ministries in the lives of

adolescents

ETHNOGRAPHIC RESEARCH IS ABOUT LIVING AMONG A GROUP OF PEOPLE TO LEARN ABOUT

THEIR EVERYDAY LIVES

PARTICIPATING AS AN OBSERVER

Unbiased observation over longer periods of time

Invest time and effort to learn about the activities, ways of life, and relationships that form in

a particular setting

DISCUSSIONS AND CONVERSATIONS

Obtain authentic voices

Clarify observations

Proper interpretation and context of observations

Conversations with a small number of youth ministry leaders/workers

Conversations with a small number of young people and their parents

Quick surveys with a larger number of young people and their parents

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THE DATA COLLECTION TOOLS

1.In-depth Interview Guides

1.Pastor version

2.Youth ministry version

2.Focus Group Guides

1.Youth version

2.Parental version

3.Youth ministry volunteers

version

3.Observation form

You Gotta Have FAITH!

COMPARATIVE THEMES

THEME 1: General Characteristics/Demographics of Adolescents

in Youth Ministry

THEME 2: Programs and Activities

THEME 3: Issues Teens Face in General

THEME 4: Defining Influence and How Youth Ministries

Influence Adolescents

THEME 5: Adolescent Sexual Health Development in Youth

Ministries

THEME 6: Towards a faith-based adolescent health curriculum

THEME 7: Towards a total health curriculum

THEME 8: Practical approaches to Implementation

THEME 9: Adolescents in the community, but not in the church

[external environment]

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Module 1: Overview of the NIH Faith-based Study

Module 2: Ethnography 101: A Shared Understanding of Ethnographic

Research Methods

Module 3: Ethnography 201: A Deeper Study of key Ethnographic Data

Collection Methods

Module 4: A Review of Human Subject Protection for Ethnographic Studies

Module 5: Ethnographic Data Management & Analysis

Module 6: Continued Training and Data Monitoring Plan/Protocols

Module 7: Customizing study recruitment/data collection strategies for each

church

Module 8: Ethnographic Interviewer/Moderator Training

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PHASE 6

CONDUCT DEBRIEFINGS/DATA SHARING SESSIONS

Share local findings with each church

Share aggregate (non-identifying) findings with larger faith community

Conduct data utilization seminars

Use findings to develop appropriate adolescent health development programs for the

faith community

Conduct debriefings/data sharing sessions with the faith based

advisory board and participating youth ministries

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1. Co-Pis (from the faith and public health communities) working with equal decisionmaking

power serves as a benchmark for other CBPR studies

2. Allowing the epidemiological data to help focus the ethnographic research

strategy is important in grounding the project in “science” as a way to address the

“epi-centers” where teen pregnancy continues to impact young people

disproportionately

3. Establishing a FAITH Advisory Board comprised of pastors representing churches

in the 10 zip codes increases the acceptability of the study in the broader

community

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