Robert Newton, Jr., Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the Physical Activity and Ethnic Minority Health Laboratory at Pennington Biomedical Research Center (PBRC) at Louisiana State University. He has collaborated with Dr. Valerie Myers for several years – most recently on the Healthy Detours project funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the MobileMen project funded by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities.
In Phase I of the MobileMen project, a prototype mobile app to track physical activity, tailored to African American men ages 18 to 45, was developed. The goal was to help African American men in the maintenance phase of physical activity to remain actively physically active. Currently, Dr. Newton and Dr. Myers are working on funding for Phase II of MobileMen. In Phase II, all features of the full mobile app will be programmed and evaluated with the target population.
More broadly, Dr. Newton’s research addresses health disparities experienced by the African American community. Much of his work addresses the design and development of physical activity interventions and he also conducts weight loss research. He develops community-based and technologically-driven interventions to promote physical activity, weight management, and weight loss among African American adolescents, adults, and older adults.
Currently, Dr. Newton
leads studies assessing the effect of a community-based physical activity
intervention in older African American adults and a mobile phone-based
intervention targeting increased physical activity in young children. He is
also involved in two primary care weight management programs and several
childhood physical activity and/or weight management studies.
Dr. Newton has a Ph.D. in
Clinical Psychology from the University of Florida. Outside of his work at
PBRC, Dr. Newton is the Healthy Equity Special Interest Group Chair for the
Society of Behavioral Medicine and is a member of the American College of
The growing incidence of alcohol use among teens is an important public health problem. In a recent publication in Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, Klein Buendel Senior Scientists, Dr. David Buller and Dr. Gill Woodall, joined multiple co-authors to report on the effects of a new alcohol use prevention program for older teenagers. The program is called Smart Choices 4 Teens. The paper reports the results from a randomized controlled trial assessing the impact of this online, interactive, family-based alcohol prevention program with over 400 families on preventing and reducing teen alcohol use.
Smart Choices 4 Teens was designed with three sequential components: general parent-teen communication, teen alcohol use, and teen romantic relationships. The creators adapted two evidence-based programs — Family Matter (1) and Parent Handbook (2) — to appeal to older teens and their parents. Communication skills training was incorporated through videos and interactive activities. The program was designed to have parents and teens go through the online activities separately and then complete a discussion activity together at the end of each component. The Alcohol Component is the focus of this publication.
Use of the program
varied across families and components. Families that used more of the program
reported better outcomes. Data related to dosage of the program and changes in
drinking rates are reported in detail in the paper. Many positive effects were
seen at 6-month and 12-month follow-ups with participating families. For
example, teens in the experimental group reported fewer friends who had been
drunk at six months, and parents in the experimental group reported more communication
about social host laws. At 12 months, parents in the experimental group
reported consuming fewer alcoholic beverages.
findings suggest that Smart Choices 4 Teens was beneficial for families,
especially when parents and teens completed more of the program. The authors
believe that dissemination and implementation strategies that motivate
completion of Smart Choice 4 Teens content, especially the Alcohol Component, can
improve outcomes related to older teens’ alcohol use.
A full description of the methods, results, and conclusions of this study can be found in Psychology of Addictive Behaviors. This research was funded by a grant to the Prevention Research Center at the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (AA020977; Brenda Miller, Principal Investigator). Authors in addition to Dr. Miller, Dr. Buller, and Dr. Woodall include first author Dr. Hilary Byrnes, Dr. Joel Grube, Dr. Beth Bourdeau, and Dr. Meme Wang-Schweig from the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation. The Smart Choices 4 Teens program was produced by Klein Buendel’s Creative Team.
Bauman, K. E., Foshee, V. A., Ennett, S. T., Hicks, K., & Pemberton, M. (2001). Family Matters: A family-directed program designed to prevent adolescent tobacco and alcohol use. Health Promotion Practice, 2, 81-96. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/152483990100200112
Turrisi, R., Jaccard, J., Taki, R., Dunnam, H., & Grimes, J. (2001). Examination of the short-term efficacy of a parent intervention to reduce college student drinking tendencies. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 15, 366–372. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0893-164X.15.4.366
Skin cancer rates continue to rise in the Hispanic population. In the last two decades, their annual melanoma incidence has increased by 20% (5). Even though Hispanics are diagnosed at a disproportionately lower level than non-Hispanic whites (NHWs), they are diagnosed with melanoma at a younger age, with a more advanced stage of the disease, and have lower melanoma-specific survival rates than NHWs (1,3).
Klein Buendel’s randomized controlled trial, Sun Safety Ink!, trains tattoo artists to offer skin cancer prevention advice to their clients. A recent diversity supplement will extend the Sun Safety Ink! study by focusing on how this information can be targeted to Hispanic tattoo artists and their clients, especially young adults. The supplement’s goals are to discover new approaches to address the increasing rates of skin cancer in the Hispanic population and to provide insight into the implementation of skin cancer prevention in an often hard-to-reach population.
Over 30% of the Hispanic population has tattoos (4), a rate that is higher than NHWs (25%). Tattoo studios, because they often recommend sun protection in their aftercare instructions, are a unique context in which to promote full body sun protection to Latinos. Sun Safety Ink! will distribute sun safety information to hard-to-reach Hispanic young adults. The diversification of the study sample will provide information on (1) baseline knowledge on sun protection in the Latino population, (2) barriers to sun protection, and (3) at-risk populations.
The supplement includes both formative research and the implementation of the Sun Safety Ink! program. Specifically, tattoo studios with Hispanic artists and clients in Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico will be recruited to participate in the study. The tattoo artists will be provided with a version of the Sun Safety Ink! training modified based on formative research conducted by Cristian Gonzalez, MD. Dr. Gonzalez is a Research Fellow at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus and an upcoming Medical Resident at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.
Gonzalez explained that the most important aspect of this project is that
“Latinos have this invincibility factor that they think they can’t get skin
cancer because they don’t know a lot of family members or friends with skin
cancer, so sometimes it really doesn’t come up. If we can increase awareness of
skin cancer in the Latino community, and if we can also improve sun protection
behavior, I think we would see a reduction in melanoma and non-melanoma skin
cancer in the future.”
Sun Safety Ink! is funded by a grant and a supplement from the National Cancer Institute (CA206569; Dr. Barbara Walkosz and Dr. Robert Dellavalle, Multiple Principal Investigators). Collaborators include Dr. Barbara Walkosz, Dr. David Buller, Mary Buller, Rachel Eye, and Savanna Olivas from Klein Buendel; and Dr. Robert Dellavalle from the University of Colorado, Denver.
Coups EJ, Stapleton JL, Hudson SV, Medina-Forrester A, Natale-Pereira A, Goydos JS. Sun protection and exposure behaviors among Hispanic adults in the United States: differences according to acculturation and among Hispanic subgroups. BMC Public Health. 2012;12:985.
Hay J, Coups EJ, Ford J, DiBonaventura M. Exposure to mass media health information, skin cancer beliefs, and sun protection behaviors in a United States probability sample. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 2009;61(5):783-792. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2009.04.023.PMC2854488
Harvey VM, Oldfield CW, Chen JT, Eschbach K. Melanoma disparities among US Hispanics: use of the social ecological model to contextualize reasons for inequitable outcomes and frame a research agenda. Journal of Skin Cancer. 2016;2016:4635740. doi: 10.1155/2016/4635740
Three Klein Buendel Senior Scientists have authored a chapter in a new 2019 book, Prevention of Substance Use, published by Springer. The chapter titled, “Use of Media and Social Media in the Prevention of Substance Use,” was written by Dr. David Buller, Dr. Barbara Walkosz, and Dr. W. Gill Woodall.
Mass media have changed
dramatically over the past 25 years, yet still remain an important channel for
substance abuse prevention messages (e.g., alcohol, tobacco, marijuana).
Exposure to messaging is an important issue for campaigns. This book chapter describes
how online and social media have added new media platforms for substance abuse
campaigns. Overall, evaluations of web-based interventions show some promise
for substance abuse prevention, although the effects appear modest. Less is
known about the effectiveness of social media in substance abuse campaigns,
especially the influence of user-generated content and commercial advertising.
The chapter describes several recent
changes that have revolutionized the media. These include the birth of the
Internet, the emergence of new media (including web-based intervention and social
media) that has made content available on-demand, and the introduction of
mobile computing that has vastly changed connectivity, reach, and engagement.
Each of these developments raises questions (which the authors explore) about
the influence of new media on substance abuse campaigns and challenges for
conducting research on the effects of prevention intervention delivery. The
book chapter delves into the role of audience activity, starting with audience
exposure determined by selective attention, exposure, and retention, and moving
on to examine user-generated content in the new media environment.
The emergence of new media holds promise
for future substance abuse prevention campaigns but comes with a number of
challenges that are explored in the chapter. These include (1) the fact that theories
of social media impact are not well developed; (2) the development of effective
methodologies to measure and assess the effects of emerging media; (3) the determination
of how commercial online marketing strategies influence substance use and how
social marketing approaches can use similar strategies for prevention; (4) the need
to understand the use of multiple platforms for promotion (e.g., broadcast, print,
online media); (5) the determination of how best to leverage and encourage
user-generated media for substance abuse interventions; and (6) the need to
explore the interactive nature of emerging media more fully. The authors
suggest that these challenges represent tremendous opportunites to better
understand and more effectively impact many different populations for the
improvement of their health.
Z. Sloboda, R. Hingson, and H.
Petras (Eds.), Prevention of substance use. New York: Springer, 2019.
cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States. Ultraviolet (UV)
radiation from the sun is the main cause of skin cancer. UV radiation can also
come from tanning booths or sunlamps. The most dangerous kind of skin cancer is
good news? Skin cancer can almost always be cured when it’s found and treated
early – and that includes melanoma.
Here are some helpful resources for information, graphics, and materials to raise awareness about skin cancer and help people take action to prevent or detect it early when it is easier to treat.
Use Real Health Photos® for improving the impact of health messages for Skin Cancer Awareness Month. The stock photography website includes numerous images of diverse people being sun safe with hats, sunglasses, shade, and sunscreen. Real Health Photos images show diversity of gender, race, ethnicity, age, income level, and health condition.
Real Health Photos is a stock photography service owned and operated by KB. It was created and evaluated with a research grant (R44MD003338, Mary Buller, Principal Investigator) from the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities at the National Institutes of Health. Real Health Photos is designed to capture the diversity of health through photography and promote the inclusion of all populations in health promotion materials and media.