The vast majority of research and prevention efforts across both mental and physical health do not include adolescents. Nonetheless, adolescents face unique health and social problems, and programs and approaches that work with adults are often not easily adaptable to adolescents. Adolescents living in high-risk settings such as informal settlements (“slums”) or conflict zones face particular challenges to research and programming, yet also have many pressing needs. Drawing particularly on examples from work in Kenya, DRC, and the Pacific Islands, Dr. Sarnquist will discuss the ethics of field research with adolescents across a variety of vulnerable settings.
Dr Sarnquist has done applied research on health challenges with marginalized populations in the U.S. and globally for over 15 years, with a focus on adolescents and children in highly vulnerable environments. Her current research focuses on gender based violence prevention, primarily among adolescents. Previously she focused on HIV prevention and family planning access. Most of her current and recent focus has been on sub-Saharan Africa, including the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, and Zimbabwe. Dr. Sarnquist holds a Doctorate in Public Health (DrPH) as well as a Master’s in Public Health (MPH), both from UC Berkeley.