The Efficacy of Familias: Preparando La Nueva Generación in Strengthening Parenting and Communication of Mexican Heritage Families in the Southwest US
Methods: This longitudinal study followed two cohorts of parents over two years. Randomized at the school-level, parents and youth in nine schools were assigned into one of three conditions: (1) control condition (C), (2) youth-only condition, receiving only kiR, (Y), and (3) parent + youth condition, receiving FPNG and kiR, (PY). Parents of 7th grade youth (N=393, 82.8% mothers, M = 38.5 years old, 34.7% some high school/no diploma) completed self-report questionnaires at baseline and immediately following the intervention. A measurement model for positive parenting and one for open family communication were evaluated using confirmatory factor analysis (CFA), followed by structural equation modeling (SEM) to estimate the effects of the intervention on positive parenting practices and open family communication.
Results: Using the four indicator variables for positive parenting (i.e., praise, affection, reward, privilege), the CFA model fit indices were acceptable: χ2 (1) = .81, p=.37; RMSEA=.00; CFI=1.00; TLI=1.01. SEM confirmed that PY parents reported greater levels of positive parenting (β = .13, p < .05) at the follow-up compared to Y parents, controlling for positive parenting at baseline. The SEM model had good fit: χ2(27) = 39.51, p=.06; RMSEA = .03; CFI=.98; TLI=.96. Using SEM, as hypothesized, we also found that parents in the PY group reported greater levels of open family communication at follow-up compared to parents in the Y group, β = .12, p < .05, controlling for open communication at baseline, χ2(30) = 39.45, p=.12, with a good model fit, RMSEA = .03, CFI=.99, TLI=.99.
Conclusion: The results of the present study confirm that known parenting practices relevant to the reduction of adolescent risk behavior are malleable to change. The results indicate that parenting interventions designed to take into account the environment of the families, including culture of origin and its cultural assets, can lead to a significant strengthening of positive parenting practices. The current findings provide a strong validation for culturally specific family-centered interventions that can enhance and complement school-based substance abuse prevention efforts with Mexican American youth.