Friday, 14 January 2005 - 2:00 PM
This presentation is part of: Adolescent Substance Abuse Prevention
keepin' it REAL for Mexican/Mexican American Adolescents: An Evidenced-Based, Culturally Grounded Substance Use Prevention ProgramStephen Kulis, PhD, Southwest Interdisciplinary Research Consortium (SIRC), Arizona State University and Flavio F. Marsiglia, PhD, Southwest Interdisciplinary Research Consortium (SIRC), Arizona State University.
Research increasingly suggests that youths respond most favorably to prevention programs when the program’s content and format reflect their culture and learning styles. The present study examined the importance of cultural grounding and targeting of substance use prevention efforts for Mexican/Mexican American youth, an under-studied and growing population. The study used a pre-post experimental design to test the efficacy of three versions of a curriculum designed to teach middle school students culturally appropriate drug resistance strategies. A Latino version of the curriculum was modeled on Mexican/Mexican American culture; a non-Latino version targeted European American and African American culture; and a Multicultural version mixed elements of the first two curricula. Self-report questionnaire data were obtained from 3,402 Mexican heritage students at baseline and 14 months after completing the curriculum. The students were enrolled in 35 Phoenix, Arizona middle schools, including 11 control sites. The analyses employed multiple imputation techniques for missing data to deal with both planned missing and attrition from pre-test to post-test. All of the tested models also accounted for the school-level randomization and possible random effects due to the accompanying nesting of students within schools. Students’ post-test scores on a various substance outcomes were regressed on their baseline scores and on a dummy variable for study condition (treatment or control), with other analyses distinguishing outcomes for different treatment versions. Findings showed that, compared to control students, students in the Latino version of keepin’ it REAL reported smaller increases in overall substance use and recent marijuana use as well as stronger intentions to refuse substance offers, greater confidence in their ability to do so, and smaller estimates of peer substance use. Students in the Multicultural version reported significantly smaller increases in recent alcohol, marijuana and overall substance. No significant program effects were found for students in the non-Latino version of the program. Although all significant program effects were confined to the Latino and Multicultural versions, tests of the relative efficacy of these versions versus the non-Latino version did not indicate significant differences. Implications for evidence- based, school social work practice and the design of prevention programs for Latino youth are discussed as well as suggestive lessons for the role of school social workers in culturally grounded prevention.
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