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Felipe Montes, PhD

GHES LMIC Fellow 2018-2019

FELLOWSHIP SITE: Universidad de los Andes, Columbia  

Project Title: Physical inactivity and substance abuse in rural areas among adolescents and young adult: social transmitted conditions?

This project aims to analyze the socially contagious nature of physical inactivity (PI) and substance abuse (SA) in Santana (Barú), a rural community in Colombia. Given the expected high cohesion of these type of communities, we hypothesize that the social structures and networks impact on PI and SA behaviors. A temporal social network will be built with longitudinal censual and socio-metric data of approximately 640 adolescents. Surveys will be conducted in three time-points and will include questions on individuals´ social, household and intimate relationships ties. Health-related behavioral measures will include physical activity, alcohol, tobacco and non-licit drugs use. Drug levels and communicable diseases associated with substance abuse will be collected using clinical testing. The use of temporal networks will provide a systemic approach allowing the simultaneous analysis of social, cultural and individual factors with epidemiological and lifestyle dynamics. We expect to  provide socially and culturally adapted recommendations for clinical and behavioral practice for this particular community, and establishing a methodological framework that could be expanded and replicated when conducting research in related global concerns affecting LMIC communities.