The Boricua Youth Study

The Boricua Youth Study


Research Program Overview

The Boricua Youth Study (BYS) seeks to understand the lived experiences of Puerto Ricans in the US and Puerto Rico. The study 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. 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.

Why Puerto Ricans?

As the fastest growing minority population in the United States, there is a need for research that focuses on the experiences of the Latino community. However, because many research projects tend to group together different Spanish-speaking cultures under the broad umbrella term “Latinos,” we don’t often see how or if the specific cultural and ethnic identities that distinguish these peoples might make a difference. Puerto Ricans—or Boricuas, as the islanders say—make up 8.9% of New York City and 5.5.% of New York State, and are among the largest and earliest Latino immigrant groups in the U.S.

Information for Participants

BYS Families

Our BYS families are the life of the study. Everyone who has participated is truly irreplaceable—our data has to come from you, no one else! Over the course of these past 16 years, you have let us into your lives and shared your journeys with us. Thanks to your cooperation, our colleagues can develop and propose new ways to address the mental, physical, and social health and well-being of Puerto Rican youth and the community as a whole.

How is the BYS interview administered?

Our research team conducts comprehensive, confidential, computer-based interviews either in person or over the phone. Since many of our families are very busy, we can conduct interviews in-home, at our offices, or anywhere else that is both private and convenient.

What kinds of questions does the BYS interview ask?

We ask about many aspects of the participant’s life, including questions about work and school, friends and family, romantic and sexual relationships, finances, spiritual and cultural practices, and quality of life. We ask about experiences of discrimination, exposure to violence and traumatic events, and substance use. For youths, we also offer rapid, confidential HIV and STI testing.

How long is the BYS interview?

It depends on the interview. We have studies that include a brief phone interview, while others are done in person and can take anywhere from 3 to 4 hours.

Is participation compensated?

Yes, participants are compensated for their time.

Do I HAVE to participate?

Of course not! But your participation is incredibly valuable, since we can only interview people from the original participant group; nobody else can be a part of this study.

How do I sign up to participate?

You can call our office at any time at (646) 774-5839. If you can’t reach us, leave a message, and a member of our team will get back to you as soon as possible.

I completed my interview—what now?

Encourage your family members who are part of the study to complete their interviews! There are different opportunities for you to participate: Our fourth wave of assessment (or Wave 4), the Health Assessment Study, the Gambling study, and the ECHO study—all of which also provide compensation for participation.

Where can I find more information and other resources for me and my family?

Please give us a call at (646) 774-5839! As you know, we are always available to try to help link you to resources in any way we can.