Recruiting urban Latina adolescents and their families: Challenges and lessons learned in suicide attempts research
Final Published Version
Youth & Society
Recruiting samples with unique characteristics dispersed across services and geography is hard to identify because of legal status and stigma create research challenges. Public health, however, requires sustained recruitment efforts. We describe challenges and solutions in recruiting urban adolescent Latinas who had attempted suicide. Procedures for recruitment and human subject protections were established, yet logistic obstacles emerged. Program directors failed to support the research; therapists were slow to identify subjects and to meet inclusionary criteria; numbers of prospective participants were lower than originally calculated; girls and parents were hard to reach; and interview appointments were missed. From challenges came solutions: to use fewer agencies, do better participant surveillance, monitor staff participation, and build rapport and relationships with staff. In-service research training to develop agency research infrastructure generated support among providers and administrators. Our experience may be helpful to other researchers conducting studies with similar populations.
Zayas, L. H., Hausmann-Stabile, C., Pilat, A. M. 2009. Recruiting urban Latina adolescents and their families: Challenges and lessons learned in suicide attempts research. Youth & Society 4.40: 591-602.