Boricua Youth Study


Dr. Glorisa Canino

Director of the Behavioral Sciences Research Institute at the University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine

About The Program

The Boricua Youth Study (BYS) seeks to understand the lived experiences of Puerto Ricans in the US and Puerto Rico. BYS is an epidemiological research study assessing mental health in a community sample of Puerto Rican youth. The study was first launched in 2001 and originally enrolled about 2,500 children between the ages of 5 and 13 in two sites: the South Bronx, NY, and San Juan, PR. The BYS collected 3 waves of data, from 2000 to 2004, that focused on antisocial behaviors and mental health outcomes of children and parents of Puerto Rican descent across both sites.

BYS youth participants are now transitioning into emerging adulthood (ages 16–26), which presents a unique opportunity to understand the development of Latino youth in a critical developmental period. Now in its fourth wave, our team is following up with these same youth and their caregivers to help us understand the unique risk and protective factors faced by the Puerto Rican community across various stages of development.  The fourth wave of this study aims to: 1) better understand the effects of acculturation and environment on mental health outcomes; and 2) explore various risky behaviors (i.e., substance use/abuse, HIV/STI sexual risk behaviors, antisocial behaviors, etc.). Some areas of interest include: depression; anxiety; antisocial behaviors; substance use; neighborhood characteristics; migration; discrimination; acculturation; cultural stress; sexual risk behaviors; marital, peer, and family relationships; social support; ethnic/racial identity; and HIV/STI testing.

For more information on the Boricua Youth Study, please visit its website.