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The Differential Impact of HIV Intervention among Native Youth (Wiconi Teca Waste – ‘Good Young Life’) was a 5-year project grant funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (R01 MH069086; Kaufman, PI). This project provided a unique opportunity to find out how American Indian (AI) adolescents make decisions about their health, with a specific focus on HIV/AIDS prevention. The intervention is a set of teaching tools developed specifically for American Indian youth in middle school, called the Circle of Life (COL). Partnered with 13 middle schools in a Northern Plains AI Community, project staff taught COL in half the schools the first year, and the other half received the intervention the second year. Each student participating in the study was asked to complete a survey every 3-6 months over about 2 years. These confidential data allowed us to determine the impact of COL on choices youth make in risky situations. We were able to assess the impact of the intervention on developmental trajectories during the important middle-school to early high-school years of these youth. Since we believe that families are important to children’s learning, we asked parents to complete a survey regarding the home- and community- life of each child. In the project’s final stage, we conducted follow-up discussions with teachers, parents, and students about COL after the course concluded for the term. These processes inform “best practices” for improved implementation of COL.

Data was collected across 8 waves that were approximately every six months for four years. We currently have data on 877 youth.  Parents or guardians have provided information for 576 of those participating youth as well as parent reports on his/her own behavior.

Funding Source:

National Institues of Health (NIH)

Principal Investigator:

Carol Kaufman, Ph.D.


Program Staff Directory:

Spero M. Manson, Ph.D.
AIANP Division Head
Tel: (303) 724-1444

Carol Kaufman, Ph.D.
Associate Professor,
Principal Investigator; Wiconi Project
Tel: (303) 724-1464

Ellen Keane, MPH
Data Manager; Wiconi Project

Colorado School of Public Health

13001 E. 17th Place
Mail Stop B119
Aurora, CO 80045

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