Delta Omega Selects Doctoral Student Andrew Conway to Present at APHA 2019
Andrew Conway, a third-year family science doctoral student at the University of Maryland School of Public Health, was selected to present his research at the Delta Omega Honorary Society in Public Health poster session at this year’s American Public Health Association (APHA) annual meeting in Philadelphia, PA. Family science Assistant Professor Amy Lewin co-authored the study and serves as Conway’s advisor.
Conway’s research, “Unexplored Adverse Childhood Experiences of Latinx Immigrant Youth,” fills a knowledge gap about adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and their relationship to health outcomes in the Latinx immigrant population.
“ACEs have been studied for a long time and the field still hasn’t really moved beyond the original ACEs measures,” said Conway. “We need to expand our thinking of what adversity looks like in different populations.”
Conway’s research aims to expand ACEs to include measures of adversity that are informed by social context in Latinx immigrant youth. “Immigrant youth experiences are very different and so the traditional adversities that we explore in general are relevant but there might be others that are more salient,” Conway explains.
To understand the prevalence of traditional ACEs and identify previously unexplored Latinx immigrant-specific ACEs, Conway and Lewin surveyed Latinx immigrant youth receiving services from Identity—a local nonprofit organization that provides wellness programs for Latino youths and their families. This work is part of a long-term partnership between Identity and a team of researchers from the University of Maryland School of Public Health. They identified several Latinx immigrant youth-specific ACEs including measures that explore their documentation history, reasons for leaving their home countries, levels of exposure to gang or state-sanctioned violence and their experiences on their journeys to the US.
Conway says presenting at APHA is especially valuable as a family science public health researcher. “Presenting at APHA is a really great opportunity to showcase some of the ideas that we’ve been working on in family science and to highlight what family science as a discipline brings to public health,” said Conway. “Especially since family science is not a traditional part of public health.”
Conway is a licensed social worker and has worked as clinical faculty at the Yale School of Medicine in the Intensive In-Home Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Services program. His research interests include the impact of intergenerational trauma on youth mental health, youth absenteeism and the interaction of vulnerable families with state systems.