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BMC

Enhancing organizational capacity to provide cancer control programs among Latino churches: Design and baseline findings of the CRUZA Study

Journal Paper
Allen, J.D., Tom, L., Rustan, S.J., Vengoechea, B.L., Ospino, H., Negrón, R., Torres, M.I., Galeas, A.
BMC Health Services Research, 15, 147

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Faith-based organizations (FBOs) have been successful in delivering health promotion programs for African Americans, though few studies have been conducted among Latinos. Even fewer have focused on organizational change, which is required to sustain community-based initiatives. We hypothesized that FBOs serving Latinos would be more likely to offer evidence-based strategies (EBS) for cancer control after receiving a capacity enhancement intervention to implement health programs, and designed the CRUZA trial to test this hypothesis. This paper describes the CRUZA design and baseline findings.

METHODS:

We identified Catholic parishes in Massachusetts that provided Spanish-language mass (n = 65). A baseline survey assessed organizational characteristics relevant to adoption of health programs, including readiness for adoption, “fit” between innovation and organizational mission, implementation climate, and organizational culture. In the next study phase, parishes that completed the baseline assessment will be recruited to a randomized cluster trial, with the parish as the unit of analysis. Both groups will receive a Program Manual and Toolkit. Capacity Enhancement parishes will also be offered technical support, assistance forming health committees and building inter-institutional partnerships, and skills-based training.

RESULTS:

Of the 49 parishes surveyed at baseline (75%), one-third (33%) reported having provided at least one health program in the prior year. However, only two program offerings were cancer-specific. Nearly one-fifth (18%) had an active health ministry. There was a high level of organizational readiness to adopt cancer control programs, high congruence between parish missions and CRUZA objectives, moderately conducive implementation climates, and organizational cultures supportive of CRUZA programming. Having an existing health ministry was significantly associated with having offered health programs within the past year. Relationships between health program offerings and other organizational characteristics were not statistically significant.

CONCLUSIONS:

Findings suggest that many parishes do not offer cancer control programs, yet many may be ready to do so. However, the perceptions about existing organizational practices and policies may not be conducive to program initiation. A capacity enhancement intervention may hold promise as a means of increasing health programming. The efficacy of such an intervention will be tested in phase two of this study.

health promotion practice

Recruiting and surveying Catholic parishes for cancer control initiatives: Lessons learned from the CRUZA Implementation Study

Journal Paper
Allen, J.D., Tom, L., Vengoechea, B.L., Rustan, S.J., Negrón, R., Linnan, L., Jandorf, L., Ospino, H. and Torres, M.I.
Health Promotion Practice, 16(5):667-76

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

We describe activities undertaken to conduct organizational surveys among faith-based organizations in Massachusetts as part of a larger study designed to promote parish-based cancer control programs for Latinos.

METHOD:

Catholic parishes located in Massachusetts that provided Spanish-language mass were eligible for study participation. Parishes were identified through diocesan records and online directories. Prior to parish recruitment, we implemented a variety of activities to gain support from Catholic leaders at the diocesan level. We then recruited individual parishes to complete a four-part organizational survey, which assessed (A) parish leadership, (B) financial resources, (C) involvement in Hispanic Ministry, and (D) health and social service offerings. Our goal was to administer each survey component to a parish representatives who could best provide an organizational perspective on the content of each component (e.g., A = pastors, B = business managers, C = Hispanic Ministry leaders, and D = parish nurse or health ministry leader). Here, we present descriptive statistics on recruitment and survey administration processes.

RESULTS:

Seventy-five percent of eligible parishes responded to the survey and of these, 92% completed all four components. Completed four-part surveys required an average of 16.6 contact attempts. There were an average of 2.1 respondents per site. Pastoral staff were the most frequent respondents (79%), but they also required the most contact attempts (M = 9.3, range = 1-27). While most interviews were completed by phone (71%), one quarter were completed during in-person site visits.

CONCLUSIONS:

We achieved a high survey completion rate among organizational representatives. Our lessons learned may inform efforts to engage and survey faith-based organizations for public health efforts.

GPIGR

The Effect of Resource Competition on Blacks’ and Asians’ Dynamic Social Distance Using a Virtual World Methodology

Journal Paper
Tawa, J., Negrón, R., Suyemoto, K., Carter, A.
Group Processes and Intergroup Relations

Abstract

Studies of intergroup social distance have focused primarily on relations between dominant and minority groups, rather than between minority groups. In this study, various dimensions of resource competition relevant to group threat theory were contrasted. Black (n = 39), Asian (n = 53), and White (n = 118) participants developed self-resembling avatars and interacted in a virtual world in which various types of resource competition contexts were simulated. Avatars’ movements were tracked and dynamic social distances between each participant dyad and between each participant and each racial group as a whole (Black, Asian, and White) were computed. Growth curve analyses indicated that in the absence of resource competition, social distance between individuals and groups diminished over time. In contrast, resource competition tended to increase social distance between individuals and groups over time. In particular, merit-based resource competition increased Black participants’ social distance to Asians relative to White participants’ social distance to Asians. Findings are discussed in relation to the context of historical dissention between Blacks and Asians, and implications for the promotion of positive race relations.

Social-Science-and-Medicine

Leadership Networks in Catholic Parishes: Implications for Implementation Research in Health

Journal Paper
Negrón, R., Leyva-Vengochea, B., Allen, J., Hosffman, O., Tom, L., Rustan, S.
Social Science & Medicine, 122: 53-62

Abstract

Through two case studies of Catholic parishes in Massachusetts, this study explores the implications of leader-centered versus distributed leadership in Catholic parishes for the implementation of evidence-based health interventions. The two parishes involved in the study differ from each other in several ways. In the first, parishioners are less engaged in leadership activities at the decision-making level in the parish. A small group of lay volunteers work with the parish priest and other ordained leaders on parish activities. In the second parish, a large and active lay volunteer leadership have forged an organizational structure that allows more independence from the pastor’s direct oversight. In this parish, lay volunteer leaders are the prime drivers of organizational programs and events. In 2012-2013, three types of networks were assessed at each parish: discussion, collaboration, and outside-of-parish ties. The contrasts between each parish include differences in density of collaboration, in frequency of discussion, and network centrality of the respective parish priests. We further identified key actors in the network structures at each parish. We discuss the implications of these findings for understanding organizational capacity in the context of health program implementation.

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Evaluating the Linguistic Appropriateness and Cultural Sensitivity of a Self-report System for Spanish-speaking Patients with Cancer

Journal Paper
Tofthagen C., Halpenny B., Melendez M., Gonzalez L., Sanchez-Varela V., Negrón, R., Berry D.L.
Nursing Research & Practice, online

Abstract

Spanish speakers in the United States encounter numerous communication barriers during cancer treatment. Communication-focused interventions may help Spanish speakers communicate better with healthcare providers and manage symptoms and quality of life issues (SQOL). For this study, we developed a Spanish version of the electronic self-report assessment for cancer (ESRA-C), a web-based program that helps people with cancer report, track, and manage cancer-related SQOL. Four methods were used to evaluate the Spanish version. Focus groups and cognitive interviews were conducted with 51 Spanish-speaking individuals to elicit feedback. Readability was assessed using the Fry readability formula. The cultural sensitivity assessment tool was applied by three bilingual, bicultural reviewers. Revisions were made to personalize the introduction using a patient story and photos and to simplify language. Focus group participants endorsed changes to the program in a second round of focus groups. Cultural sensitivity of the program was scored unacceptable for audiovisual material and acceptable for written material. Fry reading levels ranged from 4th to 10th grade. Findings from this study provide several next steps to refine ESRA-C for Spanish speakers with cancer.

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Diversity, Multiethnicity and Latino Social Networks

Journal Paper
Negrón, R.
Societies, 4(2): 222-239

Abstract

Given the steady increase of ethnic diversity in the US, greater numbers of people develop the ability to negotiate ethnic boundaries and form multiple ethnic identifications. This paper explores the relationship between intra-ethnic and cross-ethnic relationships—defined in terms of social networks—and patterns of ethnic self-identification among New York City (NYC) Latinos. Drawing on theory and methods from the field of social network analysis, one hypothesis is that people with ethnically heterogeneous networks are more likely to have multiple ethnic identifications than people with ethnically homogeneous networks. The paper further explores the relationship between network ethnic diversity and the demographic and network characteristics of Latinos from four different Latino subgroups: Colombian, Dominican, Mexican, and Puerto Rican. A total of 97 NYC Latinos were administered ethnic self-identification and factorial surveys, and a social network questionnaire. Blau’s diversity index was used to compute the level of ethnic diversity present in participants’ networks. Results provided modest support for the hypothesis that multiple ethnic identifications would be associated with network ethnic diversity. There were important differences between the four groups in terms of network diversity, network ethnic composition, and ethnic self-identification. Results provide some support for the notion that weak ties introduce diversity to social networks.

Journal_of_Sociolinguistics_cover

New York City’s Latino Ethnolinguistic Repertoire and the Negotiation of Latinidad in Conversation

Journal Paper
Negrón, R.
Journal of Sociolinguistics, 18(1): 87-118

Abstract

Latino collective politics has received greater attention from scholars and policy analysts than the micro-processes of everyday interaction among U.S. Latinos – the stuff with which collective efforts are constructed. In this article, I argue that latinidad – a sense of shared Latino identity – is best understood by taking into account the negotiations of collective identities in everyday, situated social practices. I ask: how do Latinos invoke latinidad in their everyday interactions, and to what end? In doing so, I present a conversation between two New York City Latinos, Roberto and William, who subtly invoke latinidad as they explore a possible business connection. Through discourse analysis of their exchange, I show that within one conversation two people can invoke latinidad through the adoption of different strategies of affiliation. Drawing on Benor’s (2010) ethnolinguistic repertoire framework, I show some of the linguistic resources that New York City Latinos access to index latinidad. I find that Benor’s framework could be expanded to account for the arsenal of distinctive linguistic features used by members of panethnic groups. For U.S. Latinos, such an arsenal includes features of multiple varieties of both Spanish and English. The results further suggest that shared Latino identity implies a basis for cooperation, in this case, cooperation with the potential to yield economic benefits.

Cover_JIMS_Vol2_No2_2008

Personal Networks and Migration Decision: The Case of Jamaican Brain Drain

Journal Paper
Negrón, R.
Journal of Identity and Migration Studies, 6(1): 43-63

Abstract

Brain drain is the phenomena where the most educated citizens of a country migrate to countries with better opportunities. This typically affects developing countries more negatively than developed countries. Given the close proximity to the US and the high standard of education of its citizens, Jamaica tends to be particularly hard hit by this brain drain. In this paper I examine intentions to migrate among skilled and educated Jamaicans. Specifically, I explore to what extent the composition of their personal network affects their decision to migrate. The data set consists of 62 university students, roughly half of who intended to migrate. Data were collected on 40 people that they knew, including information about social support provided by their social networks. The socioeconomic data about respondents did not predict intentions to migrate. However, students at Campion College, a prestigious high school linked to upper middle class status, were significantly more likely to express an interest in migration than students from other schools. Frequency of travel abroad was negatively related to intention to migrate for those that had traveled at least once. The proportion of network members that provided informational and career advice was significantly higher for those that intended to migrate. Implications of these findings for immigration policy in Jamaica and receiving countries are discussed.

field methods

Audio Recording Everyday Talk

Journal Paper
Negrón, R.
Field Methods, 24(2): 292-309

Abstract

This article covers a number of strategies for audio recording everyday, naturally occurring interactions. Drawing on fieldwork where the author observed and recorded eleven key informants in New York City, the author provides a guide applicable to a number of research situations, but especially relevant to studies that require continuous observations—from unobtrusive to participant—across various social contexts. The author provides practical suggestions for choosing an audio recorder, recording in the field, managing informed consent issues, and addressing observer effects.

IQCHE

Gender, Personal Networks and Drug Use among Rural African Americans

Journal Paper
Negrón, R. and Brown E.J.
International Quarterly of Community Health Education, 30(1): 41-54

Abstract

One of the main unifying concepts of research examining gender variations in drug use behavior is the social network. Yet, research specifically focusing on how the social networks of these groups differ by gender is limited. Few studies have investigated the social networks of rural African Americans who use drugs. In this study, we compared the personal networks of 20 rural African-American men and women addicted to cocaine using social network analysis (SNA) methods. The data do not support strong assertions about gender differences in the personal networks of the study sample. However, the results of the study suggest that men tend to have more drug users in their networks than women, as well as less structurally cohesive networks. Women tend to include more men in their personal networks than men included women. Implications of the research results for network-based drug prevention intervention as well as the value of SNA methods for drug use research are discussed.

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Negotiating Latino Ethnicity in NYC: Social Interactions & Ethnic Self- Presentation

Journal Paper
Negrón, R., & Negrón, W.
Dialogos Latinoamericanos, Special Issue: Latinos: Migration and Transnationalism in USA, 16: 35-57

Abstract

Today, an increasing number of people regularly switch from ethnicity to ethnicity in normal discourse, in an attempt to maximize their economic and political interests. This paper focuses specifically on ethnic flexibility among Latina/os in New York City. Drawing on ethnographic, linguistic, and social network data we explore how Latina/os in NYC negotiate between multiple ethnic identities in everyday contexts. Through language and dialect switches, accents, and even calculated silence the Latinos in our research negotiated NYC’s multi-level system of categorization. We hope to show that no one-to-one relationship exists between subjective feelings of ethnic belongingness and the use of ethnic markers. Ethnic markers, particularly language-related ones, are manipulated in a number of creative ways by members and non-members alike, pushing the limits of what constitutes ethnic group membership and challenging notions of ethnic authenticity.

 

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Spanish/English Code-Switching in E-Mail Communication

Journal Paper
Negrón, R.
Language@Internet, 6

Abstract

While spoken codeswitching (CS) among Latinos has received significant scholarly attention, few studies have examined written CS, specifically naturally-occurring CS in email. This study contributes to an under-studied area of Latino linguistic practices by reporting the results of a study of CS in the emails of five Spanish-English bilingual Latinos. Methods are employed that are not often used in discourse analysis of email texts, namely multi-dimensional scaling and tree diagrams, to explore the contextual parameters of written Spanish-English CS systematically. Consistent with the findings of other studies of CS in CMC, English use was most associated with professional or formal contacts, and use of Spanish, the participants’ native language, was linked to intimacy, informality, and group identification. Switches to Spanish functioned to personalize otherwise transactional or work-related English-dominant emails. The article also discusses novel orthographic and linguistic forms specific to the CMC context.

mmg

Observer on the Move: Shadowing Ethnography of Ethnic Flexibility in NYC

Working Paper
Negrón, R.
Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, Working Paper Series

Abstract

I will present an analysis of mobile shadowing ethnography, a research approach that dynamically engages body, mind, and sensibilities in research on how ethnicity is lived and performed in one of the world’s most diverse locales: NYC. During fifteen months of fieldwork throughout NYC, I shadow observed eleven Latinos as they invoked multiple ethnicities. Walking with them, I came to know NYC as a system of neighborhoods, socioeconomic regions, networks of relationships, and a series of encounters. Each participant served as my guides to NYC as I explored how their ethnic identities were shaped by multiple modes of difference. I argue that moving in and through a city’s spaces – physical, socio-cultural, and interactional – sharpens the researchers sensibilities to local manifestations of continuity, change, and complexity that is spurred by globalization. I discuss the advantages of the shadowing ethnographic approach for studying how intense diversity is experienced and negotiated in everyday city life. I further point to some of the ways that life in diverse urban places shape the development of ethnic flexibility.