Session: Tackling Tough Behavior: Risk Mitigation and Mental Health Promotion for Vulnerable Populations (Society for Prevention Research 27th Annual Meeting)

4-016 Tackling Tough Behavior: Risk Mitigation and Mental Health Promotion for Vulnerable Populations

Friday, May 31, 2019: 8:30 AM-10:00 AM
Seacliff D (Hyatt Regency San Francisco)
Theme: Promoting Health Equity and Decreasing Disparities
Symposium Organizer:
Margareth V. Del Cid
William Martinez
SESSION INTRODUCTION: The goal of this symposium session is to present new research on risk behaviors in a variety of vulnerable populations, including newcomer Latinx immigrants, first-time offending, court-involved Latinx adolescents, and women at-risk for self-harm. Each study discusses the important clinical implications of evaluating population-specific risk, and encourages the adoption of more evidence-based and population-congruent models of clinical practice. The symposium is centered around the conference theme of promoting health equity and decreasing disparities. Through this inter-institutional collaboration, our researchers hope to encourage thoughtful discourse on reducing mental health disparities and improving clinical care for vulnerable groups.

The first paper, “Destigmatizing aggression and rule-breaking: The relationship between externalizing behaviors and refugee trauma in newcomer Latinx immigrant youth” sheds light on the deleterious effects of unaddressed trauma. The authors underscore the importance of accurate identification of trauma-related externalizing behaviors for immigrant youth populations as a means to prevent negative developmental outcomes. Newcomer Latinx immigrant youth are a particularly vulnerable population, exposed to many stressors pre, during, and post-migration to the U.S. Given their at-risk status, it is imperative that these youth obtain appropriate and timely linkage to mental health care.

The second paper, “Prevention of Behavioral Risk Outcomes: First-Time Offending, Court Involved, Non-Incarcerated Latinx youth, their immediate context, and the acculturation gap,” offers a unique examination into contextual and cultural factors that contribute to behavioral risk outcomes for justice-involved Latinx youth. It is one of the first studies to integrate youth and caregiver perspectives on acculturation, and examine their influence on the behavioral risk outcomes of psychiatric symptoms, substance use, and sexual risk behaviors in FTO-CINI Latinx youth.

The third paper, “Childhood predictors of lifetime risk of self-harm: A longitudinal analysis of women with and without ADHD” focuses on identifying gender- and disorder-specific factors predicting later self-harm behaviors. Few longitudinal studies have examined childhood predictors of self-harm, and more specifically the unique predictors of suicidal ideation, non-suicidal self-injury, and suicide attempts. The authors highlight the importance of obtaining a thorough developmental history in conducting risk assessments for self-harm.

Our discussant will provide concluding remarks and facilitate an interactive discussion between presenters and attendees. Discussions will focus on shifting away from old models of conceptualizing risk and risk behaviors, and encourage new ways of meeting the needs of vulnerable populations.

* noted as presenting author