Society for Social Work and Research

Sixteenth Annual Conference Research That Makes A Difference: Advancing Practice and Shaping Public Policy
11-15 January 2012 I Grand Hyatt Washington I Washington, DC

16637 An Efficacious Intervention to Reduce the Effects of Acculturation As a Risk Factor for Substance Use Among Latino Adolescents

Friday, January 13, 2012: 3:00 PM
Burnham (Grand Hyatt Washington)
* noted as presenting author
Flavio Francisco Marsiglia, PhD, Foundation Professor of Cultural Diversity, Arizona State University, Phoenix, AZ
Stephen S. Kulis, PhD, SIRC Director of Research and Cowden Distinguished Professor of Sociology, Arizona State University, Phoenix, AZ
Scott T. Yabiku, PhD, Associate Professor of Sociology, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ
Nicole Weller, Graduate Research Associate, Arizona State University, Phoenix, AZ
Stephanie Ayers, PhD, Research Coordinator, Arizona State University, Phoenix, AZ
Research Question: Much research on the vulnerability of Latinos to substance use has focused on undesirable effects of acculturation that may be due to parent-child acculturation gaps, erosion of parental monitoring, exposure to substance-using peers, adoption of permissive drug use norms, more drug use opportunities, and acculturation stress. To address the impact of acculturation early in the developmental process of Latino youth, the SAMHSA school-based model program keepin' it REAL for middle school students was culturally adapted to include additional content on acculturation-related issues these youth may face with parents, family members, school peers, and neighbors. This presentation reviews results of a test of the adapted “Acculturation Enhanced (AE)” version of the prevention intervention compared to the original “Multicultural (MC)” version of keepin' it REAL. We predicted that the AE version would be more effective against substance use behaviors and norms than the MC version for populations with various levels of acculturation.

Methods: Data for this analysis came from 1,042 Mexican-heritage students in grades 5-8 from 29 schools who participated in a randomized controlled trial of the two versions of the prevention program from 2004-2008. To estimate treatment effects when the Acculturation Enhanced version is isolated from the Multicultural version we used growth curve models that modeled changes in the frequency and amount of use of four substances (alcohol, cigarettes, marijuana, inhalants) in the last 30 days as well as changes in key mediatorsor antecedentsof substance use (substance use intentions, norms, expectancies, and refusal efficacy). Multiple imputation methods were employed to adjust for attrition and missing items, and estimates were adjusted for the clustering of individuals in schools. Models controlled for age, sex, school grades and SES. Mean centered interaction terms were used to test whether the AE version was relatively more effective than the MC version depending on the acculturation level of the student, measured via a linguistic acculturation scale.

Results: Growth curve models predicting the trajectory of substance use outcomes showed that the AE version was more effective for the more acculturated students, whereas the MC version was more effective for the less acculturated students in reducing undesirable substance use behaviors and antecedents.

Implications: Although the standard MC versions of keepin' it REAL has been shown to be an effective substance use intervention program in multiethnic samples, the AE version is appreciably more effective when applied to particular sub-populations experiencing acculturation pressures.