• adolescent prevention intervention;
  • community-based research;
  • culture;
  • ethnography;
  • Pacific Islander;
  • youth risk behavior

ABSTRACT Objective: This is an evaluation of the process and outcome of a research study to determine a culturally targeted health promotion program for U.S. Pacific Islander youth who are at risk for co-occurring problem behaviors, including risky sexual behavior, substance abuse, and interpersonal violence.

Design and Sample: An exploratory design was used and included qualitative interviews (N=54), focus groups (N=16), participant observation (over 3 years), and surveys (N=24) with Pacific Islander adults and youth. After identifying key cultural values and reviewing existing evidence-based prevention interventions, “Project Talanoa” was developed around 4 constructs: (1) cultural identity and pride, (2) teen health, (3) peer relations, and (4) family ties. The program was pilot tested and evaluated by 24 Pacific Islander adolescents (ages 12–15 years).

Results: Results indicate it was culturally appropriate, well liked by the participants, supported by parents and others in the community, and found to be feasible.

Conclusions: Additional research is needed to test it for effectiveness. Project Talanoa provides a model for applying cultural concepts in the development of a risk reduction intervention for adolescents.