A pilot of a tripartite prevention program for homeless young women in the transition to adulthood

TitleA pilot of a tripartite prevention program for homeless young women in the transition to adulthood
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsWenzel, SL, D'Amico, EJ, Barnes, D, Gilbert, ML
JournalWomens Health Issues
Date PublishedMay-Jun
Publication Languageeng
ISBN Number1049-3867 (Print)1049-3867 (Linking)
Accession Number19345588
Keywords*Adolescent Behavior, *Health Behavior, *Health Promotion, *Homeless Persons, Adolescent, Adult, Alcoholic Intoxication, Coitus, Crime Victims, Data Collection, Female, Focus Groups, Humans, Los Angeles, Male, Patient Satisfaction, Pilot Projects, Program Evaluation, Sexual Partners, Substance-Related Disorders/prevention & control, Violence, Young Adult

BACKGROUND: Among young women who are impoverished and homeless, the transition to adulthood (ages 18-25) is associated with alcohol and drug use, risky sexual activity, and increased risk of being victimized by intimate partner violence. METHODS: "The Power of YOU," a program using motivational interviewing (MI), was designed to address these problems. We tested the "Power of YOU" with 31 homeless women (ages 18-25) in 7 focus groups. Women completed questionnaires assessing background characteristics and satisfaction at the end of each group. Each group was followed by a feedback session that was audiorecorded and transcribed. Key themes were identified. RESULTS: During a past 6-month period, 38.7% of women reported alcohol intoxication, 19.3% reported 2-3 male sex partners, and 22.2% reported major physical violence from a partner. Women expressed satisfaction and provided consistently positive feedback on the intervention, reporting, for example, that it was "helpful to know how to put a condom on" and that they appreciated the attention paid to safety planning. CONCLUSIONS: Results from this pilot suggest that "The Power of YOU" may hold promise in helping homeless young women in the transition to adulthood make healthier choices and plan for high-risk situations, and that the nonconfrontational, nonjudgmental approach of MI appeared appropriate for this population.

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