Breaking News
January 16, 2019 - GoFundMe CEO: ‘Gigantic Gaps’ In Health System Showing Up In Crowdfunding
January 16, 2019 - Induced neuronal cells derived from fibroblasts are similar to neurons in the brain
January 16, 2019 - New study finds link between childhood abuse and suicide in later life
January 16, 2019 - Lifestyle and health factors that are good for the heart can also prevent diabetes
January 16, 2019 - Scientists take another step in understanding bacteria that cause Salmonella epidemic
January 16, 2019 - Look to Your Aunts, Uncles and Parents for Clues to Your Longevity
January 16, 2019 - Study finds ADHD drugs are unlikely to cause cardiac damage in children who take them
January 16, 2019 - Call The Midwife! (If The Doctor Doesn’t Object)
January 16, 2019 - Changes in hippocampal structural connectivity differentiate responders of electroconvulsive therapy
January 16, 2019 - Study sheds light on the deadly venom of Mojave rattlesnakes
January 16, 2019 - University of Nebraska to develop new drugs that prevent and counteract effects of radiation exposure
January 16, 2019 - Sugar-based stent makes precarious sewing process easier
January 16, 2019 - FDA-approved drug hampers cancer metastasis in animal model, shows study
January 16, 2019 - Childhood body composition may play a role in future respiratory health
January 16, 2019 - Outdated commissioning methods are failing mental health services in the UK, reveals report
January 16, 2019 - Unconventional immune cells trigger disturbed cytokine production in human spondyloarthritis
January 16, 2019 - Patients Turn To GoFundMe When Money And Hope Run Out
January 16, 2019 - Researchers develop novel viral identification method
January 16, 2019 - Study proposes improvements in pharmacological study of cognitive function enhancers in schizophrenia
January 16, 2019 - Study points to potential new biomarker and drug target for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
January 16, 2019 - Differences in geographic origin of genes may affect mitochondrial function
January 16, 2019 - Study analyzes vaccine-preventable infections in children who receive solid organ transplants
January 16, 2019 - MiRagen Announces New Clinical Data in Patients With Three Different Types of Blood Cancers Treated With Cobomarsen
January 16, 2019 - Scientists uncover why knee joint injury leads to osteoarthritis
January 16, 2019 - Salk team uses new model to study health effects of AMP-activated protein kinase
January 16, 2019 - Research reveals novel approach to suppressing chemotherapy-induced tumor growth
January 16, 2019 - Researchers reveal how fasting leads to better overall health
January 16, 2019 - Deprivation and neglect in early childhood have impact on cognitive functioning in adolescence, shows study
January 16, 2019 - Training Students to use Imaging Techniques: NMR and EPR
January 16, 2019 - Nerve transfer surgery restores arm movement in children with acute flaccid myelitis
January 16, 2019 - Exelixis Announces U.S. FDA Approval of Cabometyx (cabozantinib) Tablets for Previously Treated Hepatocellular Carcinoma
January 16, 2019 - DNA vaccine reduces both toxic proteins linked to Alzheimer’s
January 16, 2019 - Even in the U.S., poor women often can't afford tampons, pads
January 16, 2019 - One time use of Marijuana could affect teen brains finds study
January 16, 2019 - Persistent Opioid Use High in Head, Neck Cancer Patients
January 16, 2019 - Questions to ask your doctor about post pregnancy care: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia
January 16, 2019 - Neurons with good housekeeping are protected from Alzheimer’s
January 16, 2019 - Is mindfulness worthy of all the hype?
January 16, 2019 - Physical Activity, Any Type or Amount, Cuts Health Risk from Sitting
January 16, 2019 - New understanding in the evolution of human feet
January 15, 2019 - AHA: New Cholesterol Guidelines Put Ethnicity in the Spotlight
January 15, 2019 - Different brain areas linked to smoking and drinking
January 15, 2019 - Henry Marsh shares insights into neurosurgery and more at Dean’s Lecture Series
January 15, 2019 - Want to Live Longer? For Just 30 Minutes a Day, Do Anything Else But Sit
January 15, 2019 - The Current issue of “The view from here” is concerned with Targets
January 15, 2019 - Plain packaging sparked tobacco price rises, new study finds
January 15, 2019 - Sedentary lifestyles can be unhealthy, physical activity can lower risk
January 15, 2019 - Gut microbiome may help prevent development of cow’s milk allergy
January 15, 2019 - Lesbian, gay and bisexual individuals more likely to suffer severe substance use disorders
January 15, 2019 - New England Journal of Medicine Publishes Positive Results of the Pivotal Trial of Cablivi (caplacizumab) for Rare Blood Clotting Disorder
January 15, 2019 - Levels of inflammatory marker (CRP) linked to housing type and tenure
January 15, 2019 - Three gifts I’m glad I gave myself in 2018
January 15, 2019 - Columbia’s Pediatrics Department Names New Vice Chairs, Expands Leadership
January 15, 2019 - US FDA Accepts Regulatory Submissions for Review of Tafamidis to Treat Transthyretin Amyloid Cardiomyopathy
January 15, 2019 - Staying fit can cut your risk of heart attack by half
January 15, 2019 - Vitamin D supplements are of no gain to those over 70, study shows
January 15, 2019 - Scientists create comprehensive new method to predict breast cancer risk
January 15, 2019 - Research shows connection between social media use and impaired risky decision-making
January 15, 2019 - FDA Approves Expanded Use of Adacel (Tdap) Vaccine for Repeat Vaccination
January 15, 2019 - Treating spinal pain with replacement discs made of ‘engineered living tissue’ moves closer to reality
January 15, 2019 - Providers Walk ‘Fine Line’ Between Informing And Scaring Immigrant Patients
January 15, 2019 - Outcomes Poorer for Medicaid Beneficiaries With STEMI
January 15, 2019 - Decorative Products on Foods Can Be Unsafe
January 15, 2019 - A dream of sustainable surgery in Uganda
January 15, 2019 - Study shows how herpes viruses and tumors have learned to manipulate the same ancient RNA
January 15, 2019 - Common Heart, Diabetes Meds May Help Ease Mental Illness
January 15, 2019 - Stress and trauma in earliest years linked to reduced hippocampal volume in adolescence
January 15, 2019 - Scientists identify endogenous activator of sigma-1 receptors in human cells
January 15, 2019 - MAR treatments unlikely to be cause of premature or low birth weight babies
January 15, 2019 - Parental CPTSD increases transmission of trauma to offspring of Tutsi genocide survivors
January 15, 2019 - High-fat diets shown to increase blood pressure
January 15, 2019 - New institute for food safety to be established in Netherlands
January 15, 2019 - Keele University researchers receive £2.4 million grant to help reduce overprescribing of opioids
January 15, 2019 - Synthetic compound reverses mutant p53 aggregate accumulation, study shows
January 15, 2019 - First elder care robot tested in a WSU smart home apartment
January 15, 2019 - Oxford researchers explore relationship between technology use and adolescent mental health
January 15, 2019 - From microbiome research to healthier and sustainable foods
January 15, 2019 - How coaching moms and dads improves infants’ language skills
January 15, 2019 - Precision health approach tapped to identify causes of poverty
January 14, 2019 - DNA origami can accurately measure how antibodies interact with several antigens
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