Summary: This study consisted of eight focus groups (n=74) consisting of ninth grade students of Hispanic origin (n=29), a parent or primary caretaker (n=29), and school personnel (n=16). The researchers conducted the focus groups to determine the needs and perceptions of healthy relationships and violence prevention within the Hispanic community of a large urban high school in Miami-Dade County. The focus groups were conducted separately so all participants felt comfortable speaking. The findings showed that the participants felt strongly that schools should provide more opportunities for students to learn about safe and healthy relationships, and violence prevention. The Safe Dates program was mentioned more than once as being a preferable education program with students. Parents and school personnel were interested in implementing the program to all high school students. It was also found that students who had open communication with their parents, and who also had rules such as curfews, were less likely to have been the victim of dating or sexual violence. The participants also stressed the importance of including culturally relevant and specific information to the Hispanic students during prevention programming.
Application/Evaluation: This article may be valuable for individuals who work with Hispanic youth. The article includes the collection and analysis of qualitative data. Two researchers coded the focus group transcripts and an outside company analyzed the content.
Limitations: The study did not identify the sexual orientation of the participants. Thus, the results may not be generalizable to LGBT youth.