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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Collaborative Planning for Formative Assessment and Cultural Appropriateness in the Girls Health Enrichment Multi-Site Studies (Gems): a Retrospection.

Authors
item Kumanyika, Shiriki - UNIVERSITY OF PENN
item Story, Mary - UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA
item Beech, Bettina - UNIVERSITY OF MEMPHIS
item Sherwood, Nancy - UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA
item Baranowski, Janice
item Powell, Tiffany - STANFORD UNIVERSITY
item Cullen, Karen
item Owens, Ayisha - STANFORD UNIVERSITY

Submitted to: Ethnicity and Disease
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: February 1, 2003
Publication Date: December 1, 2003
Citation: Kumanyika, S.K., Story, M., Beech, B.M., Sherwood, N.E., Baranowski, J., Powell, T.M., Cullen, K., Owens, A.S. 2003. Collaborative Planning for Formative Assessment and Cultural Appropriateness in the Girls Health Enrichment Multi-site Studies (GEMS): A Retrospection. Ethnicity and Disease. 13(1 Suppl 1):S15-S29.

Interpretive Summary: This article describes the collaborative planning process undertaken to take full advantage of formative assessment activities for improving contextual relevance and cultural appropriateness of the Girls health Enrichment Multi-site Studies (GEMS), Phase 1, which developed and pilot-tested interventions to prevent obesity in African-American preadolescent girls. Working group activities were designed to stimulate awareness and reflection among group members and, through them, among other field center investigators and staff about developmental, cultural, and contextual issues for formative assessment. Telephone, Internet, and face-to-face interactions were conducted by investigators and staff involved in intervention development across GEMS field centers in Houston, Texas; Memphis, Tennessee; Minneapolis, Minnesota; and Palo Alto, California. The utility of the process was judged from feedback by participants and field center principal investigators about the contribution of the collaborative effort to improving the perceived relevance and cultural appropriateness of formative assessment data collection and interpretation. As a result working bibliography was compiled, and a detailed matrix of programmatic, child, family, and contextual issues related to ethnicity, socioeconomic status, general health and lifestyle, food, physical activity, and body image/weight control was completed. Additional guidance was derived from a workshop that involved scholars with expertise in aspects of African-American culture, child development, and family processes. In conclusion, this process improved the breadth and depth of GEMS formative assessment activities by increasing the appreciation of the complex structural, contextual, and personal forces at play. A similar process may be useful to other investigators when attempting to develop culturally appropriate interventions.

Technical Abstract: The Girls health Enrichment Multi-site Studies (GEMS), Phase 1, developed and pilot-tested interventions to prevent obesity in African-American preadolescent girls. This article describes the collaborative planning process undertaken to take full advantage of formative assessment activities for improving contextual relevance and cultural appropriateness. Working group activities were designed to stimulate awareness and reflection among group members and, through them, among other field center investigators and staff about developmental, cultural, and contextual issues for formative assessment. Telephone, Internet, and face-to-face interactions were conducted across GEMS field centers in Houston, Texas; Memphis, Tennessee; Minneapolis, Minnesota; and Palo Alto, California. Participants in the data collection were investigators and staff involved in intervention development. The utility of the process was judged from feedback by participants and field center principal investigators about the contribution of the collaborative effort to improving the perceived relevance and cultural appropriateness of formative assessment data collection and interpretation. As a result a working bibliography was compiled and a detailed matrix of programmatic, child, family, and contextual issues related to ethnicity, socioeconomic status, general health and lifestyle, food, physical activity, and body image/weight control was completed. Additional guidance was derived from a workshop that involved scholars with expertise in aspects of African-American culture, child development, and family processes. In conclusion, this process improved the breadth and depth of GEMS formative assessment activities by increasing the appreciation of the complex structural, contextual, and personal forces at play. A similar process may be useful to other investigators when attempting to develop culturally appropriate interventions.

Last Modified: 10/1/2014
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