Proposed Social Media Intervention to Improve Galveston Adolescent Sexual Health Behaviors
Morales, Melissa Yvette
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For many students, high school is a pivotal time in which there is preparation for adulthood and independence from parental guidance. It is therefore imperative that students be given the tools to prevent disease and injury before they move on to adulthood. One of the most important tools that a young adult can possess is knowledge. High school aged students are accessing the internet and taking part in social media at an increasing rate. The use of technology to learn, communicate and connect has become part of the American culture, but more research is needed to evaluate the use of social media to disseminate health information. The aim of this Masters in Public Health (MPH) capstone project is to define an important health issue that affects Ball High School students in Galveston, Texas and to then construct a strategy to create awareness about this health issue using social media. Based on a recent survey conducted at Ball High School by the University of Texas Medical Branch, a sizable percentage of high school students admitted to taking part in risky sexual behaviors. Therefore, the health issue chosen for this MPH capstone project is sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), one of the most detrimental consequences of risky sexual behaviors. The intervention chosen is an interactive social media campaign to disseminate basic knowledge, dispel misconceptions and provide resources regarding sexual transmitted diseases. The strategy includes a method to evaluate the intervention. The anticipated impact of this MPH capstone is that it will provide insight into a health issue that affects our youth and will assist in future endeavors to intervene on public health issues that affect Ball High School students.