ASU-Guanajuato pact assesses migration issues

<p>For more than 100 years, the state of Guanajuato in the central highlands of Mexico has been a major point of departure for migrants. It continues to account for a disproportionately large share of the economic migrations of workers to the United States and Canada.</p><separator></separator><p>Researchers at ASU&#39;s Southwest Interdisciplinary Research Center (SIRC), in partnership with Mexican institutions, have developed a research partnership to better understand how different psychosocial, health and educational factors are associated with the decision that Guanajuato&#39;s youth make about migration.</p><separator></separator><p>Flavio Marsiglia, SIRC&#39;s director, Stephen Kulis, SIRC&#39;s director of research, and postdoctoral fellow Hilda Garcia Pérez were in León, Guanajuato, recently to sign an agreement with the Sistema Avanzado de Bachillerato y Educación Superior (SABES), the community-based secondary and post-secondary education system of the government of Guanajuato state.</p><separator></separator><p>The collaboration, “Guanajuato Youth and Family Health,” is a research project to develop and test interventions that identify and strengthen community, familial and individual factors that protect and prevent the onset of risk behaviors among some of the most vulnerable youths of Guanajuato.</p><separator></separator><p>SIRC will work with the Guanajuato Department of Education to identify and characterize protective and risk factors associated with the physical and mental health of individual youth ages 15-24. The findings will help evaluate whether or not these factors affect school retention, and whether migration aspirations of these students and their families&#39; experiences of migration affect their commitment to school and graduation rates. The findings also will take a look at the students&#39; health profiles, and will characterize the perceptions of students and families about health, education, work, migration and their communities.</p><separator></separator><p>“Efforts like this produce invaluable knowledge about the pervasive impact of migration for youths on both sides of the border,” Marsiglia says.</p><separator></separator><p>The SABES program was established by the Office of the Governor of Guanajuato as an auxiliary secondary education system to increase the availability and access of high school and college education for lower socioeconomic-status youths in rural and urban areas most affected by migrations northward. This high school system serves more than 20,500 students, or about 15 percent of all high school students across 38 of 45 counties in Guanajuato.</p><separator></separator><p>The centers included in the sample of the ASU-led study were randomly selected from across the state, controlling for the extent to which the communities are affected by migration. Information from more than 750 student surveys will be analyzed by the ASU team in collaboration with partners from SABES.</p><separator></separator><p>SIRC, established in 2004 through a National Institutes of Health and National Institute on Drug Abuse infrastructure grant, focuses its national and interdisciplinary drug abuse prevention research on improving service delivery, in addition to addressing health disparities of the historical communities of the Southwest.</p>