Girl World: A Primary Prevention Program for Mexican American Girls

Patricia J. Kelly, Tess J. Bobo, Kate McLachlan, Shana Avery, Sandra K. Burge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Theories about women's health have not traditionally been extended to include the healthy development of young women. This article applies a women's health perspective to the implementation and evaluation processes of a gender-specific primary prevention program that worked with 9-to 14-year-old Hispanic girls in a low-income community. Although community-based after-school programs can be an important venue for education and girls' development, long-term effects are elusive to evaluate. The authors used ethnographic techniques to learn more about girls and their interactions with the program and to assess short-term program impact. Three themes were found: Program environment can contribute to girls' expression and behavior, issues of struggling families can slide girls into early adulthood, and mentoring can benefit both girls and adult women. Community-based primary prevention programs, although an essential part of a social safety net available to low-income girls, provide researchers with a unique set of evaluation challenges.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)174-179
Number of pages6
JournalHealth promotion practice
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2006


  • community-based programs
  • gender-specific programs
  • primary prevention
  • youth development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Nursing (miscellaneous)


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