PRC Newsletter - February 2021

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Greetings and welcome to the first issue of the 2021 HYD-PRC e-newsletter.

This past month, Amanda Gorman, the 22-year-old National Youth Poet Laureate brilliantly illustrated the power of youth voice in her inaugural poem, “The Hill We Climb.” She captivated us with her observations and her call to action, “For there is always light, if only we're brave enough to see it. If only we're brave enough to be it.” May Ms. Gorman’s words inspire us all to forge ahead with robust work, challenging conversations, and necessary actions to become a more equitable and just society, where all of our young people can thrive.

In this newsletter, we explore recent work of our HYD-PRC faculty, staff and community partners. We present findings from a statewide study of health needs of unstably housed youth in rural, suburban, and urban areas of Minnesota, and results of an effort to more accurately measure sexual orientation and gender identity among statewide Minnesota Student Survey respondents. We highlight efforts of Centro Tyrone Guzman, a HYD-PRC community partner, to support Latinx families during COVID. We also feature the services of a HYD-PRC team that provides training and technical assistance to offer sexual health education in engaging online formats. Read on to learn more about happenings within our center, as well as to discover resources related to adolescent health.

I wish each one of you the very best in living out your commitments to young people during this extraordinary time.

Renee Sieving
Director, Healthy Youth Development - Prevention Research Center

Non-binary femme student and friend
Unstably Housed Youth
Centro Tyrone Guzman

Beyond LGBT: Diversifying Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Response Options in Youth Surveillance Surveys

When large surveys of youth ask about sexual orientation or gender identity, they frequently provide a small number of “traditional” identities: gay/lesbian, bisexuals, transgender, leaving many youth unable to truthfully answer these questions and limiting understanding of health disparities.

Meeting the Needs of Unstably Housed Youth in Rural Communities

Housing is a key social determinant of health. In Minnesota, almost 10% of adolescents report experiencing housing instability, including having run away or facing some form of homelessness, either with family or unaccompanied. Unstably housed youth are known to be at high risk for poor health outcomes. Although similar percentages of youth living in rural and urban areas experience housing instability, most research regarding the needs of unstably housed youth focuses on youth in cities.

Centro Tyrone Guzman – Supporting the Latine Community During COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has further exacerbated health inequalities for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) and is deepening the economic divide between White people and people of color. This crisis has put an enormous amount of strain on health care systems and community organizations who are tasked with rapidly responding to the unprecedented and growing needs of their communities.

Jill virtual training

In Person to Virtual and Everything in Between: PRC a Leader in Sexual Health Education

Given the new CDC school guidelines encouraging limiting of activities involving external groups or persons, organizations are faced with new challenges of providing high-quality sexual health education in an online-engaging format. In short, we must pivot our delivery methods or risk denying youth of important information they won’t get elsewhere. The HYD-PRC can help you make that shift.  

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PRC Faculty & Staff Highlights

  • Adverse Childhood Experiences and Suicidality: McMorris and Colleagues Explore School Connectedness as a Protective Factor for Ethnic Minority Adolescents
  • Examining Factors Influencing HPV Vaccination: McRee and Colleagues Study Makes the Case for Multi-Level Interventions

  • HYD-PRC Joins the Sex Education Collaborative

  • Sieving and McMorris Contribute to a Literature Review on Family Relationships and the Health and Well-Being of Transgender and Gender-Diverse Youth

  • McRee Receives Team Science Award from UMN’s Department of Pediatrics

  • Shlafer Joins the Mothers Leading Science Leadership Development Program