Maria Rosa Solorio

In Funded Scholars
Maria Rosa Solorio
Maria Rosa Solorio

Maria Rosa

Solorio

MD, MPH

Assistant Professor, School of Public Health, Dept 
University of Washington

Professional Bio

Dr. Solorio is a Family Medicine physician and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Services at the University of WA School of Public Health. Her research is focused on the development of community level interventions to prevent HIV in youth. Her original research papers have been published in Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Journal of Adolescent Health, Perspectives in Sexual and Reproductive Health, Journal of AIDS, AIDS and Behavior, and Journal of Health Services. Her researchhas also been profiled frequently in the media; most notably she has been interviewed by United Press International, Associated Press, Reuters Health, and EFE news service (Spanish International News Agency).

Dr. Solorio’s leadership experience includes serving as the statewide lead discussant for the California-Mexico AIDS Initiative (2001-02) and serving as a Founding Board Member for the Latino Coalition against AIDS (LCAA), based in Los Angeles, CA (2004-08). In addition, she has media experience and served as the spokesperson for the makers of Tylenol for the “Just Keep Moving Campaign” which focused on getting older adults to engage in physical activity. She has eight years of experience mentoring MPH and PhD students. She is bilingual in English and Spanish.

Project Description

Almost 10% of high school students report to being the victim of physical violence at the hands of a romantic partner during the previous year. Girls are twice as likely to report sexual or physical abuse as boys. Hispanic youth are more likely to report to being the victims of dating violence than non-Hispanic white youth (11.5% vs. 8%). At present, there is limited evidence supporting the effectiveness of intervention programs to prevent violence or related behaviors with Latino adolescents. To make interventions effective for Latino youth, a cultural adaptation of existing programs is necessary.

Therefore, the goal of this project is to conduct a cultural adaptation of 4th R, an evidence-based intervention that addresses dating violence among adolescents. The proposed project will proceed in two phases. In phase 1, focus groups will be conducted with Hispanic adolescent girls to inform the cultural adaptation of 4th R curricula. In Phase 2 a pilot of the culturally adapted 4th R intervention will be conducted with 20 Hispanic adolescent girls to assess feasibility and preliminary efficacy.

My New Connections Experience

My career as a health services researcher has been one with many accomplishments and also some challenges. I am inspired by challenge. I was the first person in my family to attend college, to become a physician, and to become a scientist. I am also the first Mexican-American female faculty at the University of Washington (UW) School of Public Health, Department of Health Services. I appreciate that the RWJ Foundation has created a New Connections Program to facilitate connections among racial/ethnic minority faculty in the United States. I applied to the program because I saw it as an opportunity to collaborate with RWJ staff interested in vulnerable populations as well as network with other grantees with similar research interests.

The New Connections Program offers multiple opportunities for growth, including facilitating networking with RWJ staff and peers with similar interests. The funding from the New Connections program will allow me to conduct an exciting project involving the cultural adaptation of 4th R, an evidence-based intervention that addresses dating violence among adolescents. Findings from this study will allow me write a white concept paper that will identify important cultural factors to be targeted in addressing dating violence among Latina adolescent girls. I plan to use this preliminary data to conduct a larger study in the near future. Thus, in summary, New Connections has facilitated my career trajectory by allowing me to pursue this important area of inquiry.

Research Interests

Dr. Solorio’s research is focused on HIV prevention in youth. She is especially interested in the development of mass media campaigns that target Latino youth with HIV prevention messages to reduce sexual risk behaviors and increase acceptability of HIV testing. She is also interested in developing culturally specific interventions to prevent dating violence among Latina adolescent girls.

The Details
  • New Connections Status: Mid-Career Consultant
  • Award Year: 2011
  • RWJF Team/Portfolio: Vulnerable Populations
  • Project Name: An Initial Evaluation of a Culturally Adapted Dating Violence Prevention Program for Hispanic Adolescent Girls.

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