Breaking News
November 14, 2018 - Change Within the Eye May Be Early Warning for Macular Degeneration
November 14, 2018 - Study of 500,000 people clarifies the risks of obesity
November 14, 2018 - Ultrasound releases drug to alter activity in targeted brain areas in rats | News Center
November 14, 2018 - Cancer stem cells depend on amino acid metabolism, and it’s proving to be their Achilles’ heel
November 14, 2018 - Epigenetic link found between prenatal exposure to maternal smoking and offspring’s cardio-metabolic health
November 14, 2018 - Meditation, music may change biomarkers of cellular aging and Alzheimer’s disease in older adults
November 14, 2018 - Multidisciplinaryresearch teams selected to study age-related brain disorders
November 14, 2018 - The Current issue of “The view from here” is concerned with Informatics
November 14, 2018 - Researchers identify tool to help transgender women have a more authentic voice
November 14, 2018 - Four faculty members appointed to endowed professorships | News Center
November 13, 2018 - Research finds strongest evidence yet that obesity causes depression
November 13, 2018 - Researchers compare stools of breastfed and formula-fed infants
November 13, 2018 - Entasis Therapeutics Announces Zoliflodacin Phase 2 Results Published in The New England Journal of Medicine
November 13, 2018 - Gene changes driving myopia reveal new focus for drug development
November 13, 2018 - $6 million grant to support study of preeclampsia, atherosclerosis links | News Center
November 13, 2018 - Beneficial gut microbes metabolize high-fiber diet to improve heart health in mouse model
November 13, 2018 - Excessive use of social media through visual postings linked to increase in narcissistic traits
November 13, 2018 - Study finds why obesity both fuels cancer growth and helps immunotherapy to kill tumors
November 13, 2018 - Women prefer and invest more in daughters, while men favor sons
November 13, 2018 - With hospitalization losing favor, judges order outpatient mental health treatment
November 13, 2018 - Transgenic rat model may provide new insights into cerebral amyloid angiopathy
November 13, 2018 - Study identifies factors tied to greater risk of advanced liver disease in cystic fibrosis patients
November 13, 2018 - Risk of blindness among premature babies with low levels of blood platelets
November 13, 2018 - A new strategy for combatting antibiotic-resistant infections
November 13, 2018 - Study aims to find which outreach method is more effective at improving cancer screening rates
November 13, 2018 - Insufficient sleep duration linked with unhealthy lifestyle profile among children
November 13, 2018 - IIASA researchers introduce new, simple measure for human wellbeing
November 13, 2018 - Magnetic nanosprings used as targeted drug delivery agents for anticancer therapy
November 13, 2018 - Scientists examine FCMs containing silver nanoparticles
November 13, 2018 - Failed DNA repair triggers chromosomal chaos
November 13, 2018 - Study shows new emerging role of osteopontin in HCV-related hepatocellular carcinoma
November 13, 2018 - Food insecurity during pregnancy linked to severity of neonatal abstinence syndrome
November 13, 2018 - Majority of Americans are concerned about health threat posed by antibiotic resistance
November 13, 2018 - Addition of Elotuzumab Ups PFS in Refractory Multiple Myeloma
November 13, 2018 - Study finds women with pregnancy-related nausea, vomiting use marijuana more
November 13, 2018 - Lethal heart rhythm more likely to be found in patients with common heart failure
November 13, 2018 - Study provides new clues to origin and development of multiple sclerosis
November 13, 2018 - Climate change could pose threat to male fertility
November 13, 2018 - Researchers discover how mitochondria deploy a powerful punch against disease-causing bacteria
November 13, 2018 - AHA: Traumatic Childhood Could Increase Heart Disease Risk in Adulthood
November 13, 2018 - Feeling the Burn? | NIH News in Health
November 13, 2018 - Women’s birth canals in Kenya, Korea, Kansas not the same: study
November 13, 2018 - Fecal microbiota transplantation effective against ICI-associated colitis
November 13, 2018 - New physical activity guidelines released that urge people to “move more”
November 13, 2018 - Angiotensin receptor blockers improve sodium excretion in blacks
November 13, 2018 - New project seeks to address alarming injury rate in youth footballers
November 13, 2018 - Fish oil or omega 3 fatty acid supplements can prevent heart attacks finds study
November 13, 2018 - The Human Heart-in-a-Jar That Could One Day Replace Animal Testing
November 13, 2018 - Treat patients’ partners without a doctor visit
November 13, 2018 - Belgian beer landscape mapped using scientific insights
November 13, 2018 - ‘Master key’ gene has links to both ASD and schizophrenia
November 13, 2018 - Gladstone scientists gain new insights into the aging brain
November 13, 2018 - Drug therapy can improve outcomes for acutely ill heart patients
November 13, 2018 - Three landmark studies provide better understanding of sudden cardiac arrest
November 13, 2018 - Cholesterol control revised in the latest AHA/ACC guidelines
November 13, 2018 - Vulnerable young teenagers urgently need better sex education, say researchers
November 13, 2018 - Breakthrough research reveals how deadly pneumococcus avoids immune defenses
November 13, 2018 - Researchers discover possible path forward in preventing cancers tied to two viruses
November 13, 2018 - Wishes can help pediatric patients to get better over time
November 13, 2018 - Janssen Reports Positive Topline Results for FLAIR Phase 3 Study of a Novel, Long Acting Injectable Two-Drug Regimen for the treatment of HIV-1
November 13, 2018 - Experimental compound reduces Gulf War illness-like behavior in mice
November 13, 2018 - Small-stature in rainforest populations may be linked to cardiac adaptations
November 13, 2018 - Study shows how pneumococci challenge the immune system
November 13, 2018 - Simple cysts can be safely ignored, study finds
November 13, 2018 - First fully personalized tissue implant engineered from patient’s own materials and cells
November 13, 2018 - FDA Approves Keytruda (pembrolizumab) in Combination with Carboplatin and Either Paclitaxel or Nab-Paclitaxel for the First-Line Treatment of Patients with Metastatic Squamous Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC)
November 13, 2018 - Scientists take big step toward finding non-addictive painkiller
November 13, 2018 - Diabetes medication reduces risk of heart failure hospitalization
November 13, 2018 - Achieving high follow-up rates for violently injured patient population is feasible
November 13, 2018 - Shortage of specific gene ‘silencing’ molecules linked with pediatric low-grade gliomas
November 13, 2018 - Abx-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae Tied to Clinical Failure in UTI
November 13, 2018 - US approves first new type of flu drug in 2 decades
November 13, 2018 - Is zinc the link to how we think? Some evidence, and a word of warning
November 13, 2018 - Dispelling taboos, Michelle Obama talks IVF and miscarriage
November 13, 2018 - Medical experts discuss future challenges of healthcare at HSMA’s inaugural conference
November 13, 2018 - Growth and spread of deadly eye tumor suppressed in cells, animals
November 12, 2018 - Study finds huge shortfall in use of home-based medical care by frail seniors
November 12, 2018 - Cocaine Cut With Anti-Worming Drug, Levamisole, May Cause Brain Damage
November 12, 2018 - Obese mice lose a third of their fat using a natural protein
November 12, 2018 - Behind many a Parkinson’s case lurks a mutation in a gene called LRRK2 — why?
Life skills program benefits adolescent girl refugees in Sub-Saharan Africa

Life skills program benefits adolescent girl refugees in Sub-Saharan Africa

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

A yearlong program for adolescent girl refugees in Sub-Saharan Africa successfully promoted healthy transitions to adulthood within the evaluation period, according to the results of randomized controlled trials in Ethiopia and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The studies, which appear in BMJ: Global Health, were led by researchers in the Program on Forced Migration and Health at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.

The COMPASS program (Creating Opportunities through Mentoring, Parental Involvement, and Safe Spaces), developed by the International Rescue Committee, was implemented in refugee camps in Ethiopia and in conflict-affected communities in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and Khyber Pakhtunkwah province, Pakistan. (Pakistan findings appeared in a separate journal article in the Prevention Science.)

Baseline surveys found a majority of girls experienced sexual, physical, or emotional violence, and most girls accepted norms of gender inequality and violence against women in the home. One in five girls experienced early marriage, or were living with a man as if married, and expressed low expectations about the level of education a girl should complete. Few girls said they had an adult they could talk to if they experienced gender-based violence (GBV), and they had limited knowledge of professional services to help survivors of violence.

“There is a huge gap in programming for adolescent girls in emergencies,” says first author Lindsay Stark, DrPH, associate professor of social work and public health at Washington University in St. Louis’s Brown School and former associate professor of Population and Family Health at the Columbia Mailman School. “Programming tends to either be geared towards younger children (e.g. child-friendly spaces) or geared towards adult women (e.g. GBV services). Adolescents’ unique needs and issues are rarely addressed.”

“The humanitarian community must ensure that the unique needs of adolescent girls are addressed, as they remain amongst the most marginalized populations in the world,” says Julia Thomas, head of Strategic Initiatives, Violence Prevention, and Response at the International Rescue Committee. “In times of conflict, they are at greater risk of exploitation and abuse, which has grave long-term implications, as they are denied the chance to reach their full potential. We must build on programs like COMPASS to put an end to gender based violence and to empower and protect adolescent girls everywhere.”

Ethiopia

A randomized controlled trial of 986 Sudanese and South Sudanese girls ages 13-19 residing in refugee camps in Ethiopia tested an intervention of weekly classes that taught life skills geared to build girls’ knowledge of violence risk factors, reshape attitudes about gender roles, expand social networks, and improve decision-making and negotiation skills, ultimately to equip them to advocate for their rights and physical safety. These sessions were delivered in female-only safe spaces where girls could meet and form friendships and connect with mentors. Each participating adolescent girl was also invited to select a caregiver to participate in complementary monthly classes that facilitated discussion on ways to support adolescent girls, foster gender equitable attitudes, and non-violent methods of child discipline.

Analyses showed no significant effect of the intervention on reports of sexual violence, physical violence, emotional violence, transactional sex, as well as no effect on perceived feelings of safety. However, girls randomized to the life skills lessons expressed a greater value in prolonged schooling and delayed marriage compared to girls in the control group. Girls in the intervention arm were also nearly twice as likely to report having friends their own age and a trusted non-family female adult in their life. In an unpublished finding, the researchers found girls in the intervention were also more likely to know where to go if they experienced violence. The program also showed a reduction in child marriage for girls who were married or living with a partner as if married at baseline. Informal reports from program staff suggest that girls who were living with boyfriends as if married left those relationships and returned home.

Democratic Republic of Congo

A randomized control trial followed 869 adolescent girls ages 10-14 and 764 caregivers residing in South Kivu, DRC, focused on the added impact of caregiver classes. Adolescent girls in both study arms participated in similar life skills sessions to the intervention in Ethiopia with one arm getting additional caregiver sessions.

The researchers found no evidence that adding a caregiver component to this life skills program increased or reduced girls’ exposure to any form of sexual violence, physical violence, child marriage, or transactional sex, beyond those of a program targeting girls alone. However, as compared to caregivers in the control arm, caregivers receiving the intervention exhibited greater warmth and affection toward their children at the conclusion of the study, though they did not report more gender equitable attitudes, or decreased acceptance of physical discipline.

More Work Needed

The researchers write that one year may not have been sufficient to measure the effectiveness of the COMPASS intervention against violence, as greater reductions may be seen as the girls’ age. Nevertheless, the intervention made a difference in several other ways.

“The COMPASS program showed some important improvements in building girls’ social networks in terms of friends and mentors, increasing knowledge about where to access services, and improving girls’ attitudes around staying in school and getting married later,” says Stark. “In thinking about how our learning can inform future programming, we have shown that harmful social and gender norms tended to persist, pointing to a need to do more work in this arena, including with men and boys. We also believe longer follow-up is critical for this kind of research, given the norms and behaviors programs like COMPASS are seeking to change.”

“Exposure to violence is routine for many adolescent girls who are refugees,” says Terry McGovern, JD, Harriet and Robert H. Heilbrunn Professor and Chair Population and Family Health at Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health. “We need to continue to investigate interventions that will reduce the likelihood and exposure to violence. With each intervention, we learn more about how to tackle this devastating problem.”

Source:

https://www.mailman.columbia.edu/public-health-now/news/refugee-girls-gain-effort-teach-life-skills

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles