Viva la Bienestar Coalition
Project Director: Melinda Villagran, Department of Communication Studies, Texas State University
Collaborators: Ty Schepis, Department of Psychology, Texas State University; Cindy Royal, School of Journalism and Mass Communication
Community Partners: Hays Caldwell Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse
Funding Organization: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Substance Abuse Prevention
Award Amount: $694,673
The Bienestar Coalition, led by PI Melinda Villagran, is a campus and community health communication project funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Bienestar Coalition brings together groups from Texas State and the San Marcos community to increase communication about alcohol-related sexual risk behaviors among Latino young adults. The goal of the project is to reduce the incidence of HIV and other sexual health outcomes of “hooking up” while impaired.
Existing research suggests students who engage in binge drinking are more likely to engage in unprotected sex and become victims of sexual assault when they are impaired. Although Texas State currently offers programs and services to combat alcohol abuse and sexual assault on campus, the goal of this project is to create a community partnership program among students, faculty and non-profit agencies in San Marcos to reduce sexual risks associated with binge drinking.
Over 30% of undergraduate students attending Texas State are Latino, and this program is the first substance abuse prevention program designed specifically for the Latino/a young adult community in San Marcos. Dr. Villagran’s research will play a pivotal role in understanding and addressing the relationship between binge drinking and sexual risks for this important segment of our population.