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Abstract

Adolescence is a period of risk-taking and experimentation. It is a prime time for youth to explore their place in society. Consequently, the decisions made during this transitional phase may have negative implications for future health and well-being. Youth from Kalihi particularly face a higher risk of engaging in risky behaviors due to several environmental factors. Kalihi is one of the most diverse communities in Honolulu, creating possible tension between cultures. With its dense immigrant population, acculturation stress inevitable. The high rates of low-income households and households in poverty may also exacerbate the situation. Among the major ethnic groups in Kalihi (Filipinos, Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islander), it is apparent that risky behavior has ties with what their ancestors had experienced. Therefore, cultural histories are explored to understand how they have influenced the decisions youth make today. Possible solutions proposed to help Kalihi's at-risk youth include cultural interventions for those in need and the incorporation of cultural-based education in the school systems. Although culturally focused solutions may lift youth from risky behaviors, a multidimensional approach may be more effective.

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