The Society for Social Work and Research

2014 Annual Conference

January 15-19, 2014 I Grand Hyatt San Antonio I San Antonio, TX

Examining the Long-Term Effects of a Culturally-Specific Mexican American Parenting Intervention On the Substance Use Behaviors of Their Adolescent Children

Friday, January 17, 2014: 2:30 PM
HBG Convention Center, Room 102B Street Level (San Antonio, TX)
* noted as presenting author
Flavio Francisco Marsiglia, PhD, Foundation Professor of Cultural Diversity, Arizona State University, Phoenix, AZ
Stephanie Ayers, PhD, Research Coordinator, Arizona State University, Phoenix, AZ
Danielle Robbins, PhD, Biostatistician, Arizona State University, Phoenix, AZ
Background and Purpose: Latino youth have higher use rates for alcohol and other drugs in the US. In response, researchers and practitioners have begun efforts to effectively strengthen protective factors and reduce risk for substance use and other problem behaviors.   The purpose of this study  is to test the long-term results of the efficacy trial of a culturally-specific parenting intervention called Familias: Preparando la Nueva Generación (Families: Preparing the New Generation [FPNG]), which was designed to increase the effects of keepin’it REAL (kiR), an efficacious school-based drug abuse prevention intervention targeting middle school students.

Methods: 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).  We hypothesized that at the long-term follow-up, at the end of adolescents’ 8th grade year (e.g. one year after immediate post-test); adolescents who participated in kiR and whose parents also participated in FPNG (PY condition) will report lowered substance use compared to adolescents who only participated in kiR (Y condition).

Results: Using growth curve models on adolescents whose parents also participated in the study (N=462), findings indicate that participation in PY condition lowered substance use for cigarettes  in comparison to the YO and C conditions.  The substance use change over time for alcohol and marijuana are significant at the linear and quadratic levels, and the PY and Y groups have lower use in comparison to the C group over time. 

Conclusion: These results are consistent with the Ecodevelopmental Theory and provide further evidence to the theoretical premise that strengthening family functioning can have a positive effect in preventing adolescent substance use. In addition, these results support the assumption that involving parents in prevention efforts has a major effect in strengthen the efficacy of the classroom based intervention.  The culturally specific nature of the intervention is also identified as contributing to the strong boost given by the parent component to the original child-focused intervention.  Because FPNG was designed with Latino parents and for Latino parents, FPNG is emerging as a curriculum that can positively impact familial and parent-child influences that characterize Latino youth and families and reduce substance use among Latino adolescents.