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New Evidence-Based Resource Guide on Latino Youth and Families
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New Evidence-Based Resource Guide on Latino Youth and Families

May 2008


A new evidence based guide for social workers and other practitioners designed to help Latino parents talk to their teenage children about sex is now readily accessible for NASW-NYC members. The content of the guide is designed to prevent premature sexual activity among Latino youths and was written for the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy and its Latino Initiative. The Latino Initiative was launched in March 2007 to increase national attention and action on teen pregnancy among Latinos.

Columbia University School of Social Work (CUSSW) Associate Professor Vincent Guilamo-Ramos, Ph.D., LCSW and doctoral candidate Alida Bouris, MSW have authored the guide.

The guide is translational in that it addresses practical tips for strengthening parent-adolescent communication about sex among Latino families. However, the strategies are based on a careful review of the empirical literature. Many of the suggestions highlighted in the guide are based on research conducted by Dr. Guilamo-Ramos’ research team.

“According to the National Campaign, 51% of Latinas are pregnant at least once by the age of 20. The Latino teen pregnancy rate is almost twice the national average and has declined about half as fast as the national rate. In addition, Latino youth also are disproportionately affected by sexually transmitted infections, including HIV/AIDS,” says Dr. Guilamo-Ramos.

The primary messages that we wanted to convey to practitioners and parents is that Latino parents can make a difference and that there are specific communication and parenting strategies that can be used to help reduce the risk of teen pregnancy.

The guide provides practitioners with a communication framework within the context of Latino culture. The guide is an important part of the National Campaign’s Latino Initiative and will improve practitioner’s ability to support parents in their efforts to keep their children healthy.

The guide is an important step in bridging the gap between research and practice by translating findings from the literature into practical strategies that practitioners can use to help Latino parents talk with their teenage children about sex,

The full guide can be downloaded on the Latino Initiative’s website at In addition, a number of materials designed specifically for parents can be found on the site as well.

Dr. Guilamo-Ramos is currently developing a Latino Family Research Center at the Columbia University School of Social Work. The center will conduct applied research focused on Latino families both domestically and internationally.


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