The Journal of Primary Prevention

, Volume 35, Issue 1, pp 13–20 | Cite as

Opportunity Costs and Financial Incentives for Hispanic Youth Participating in a Family-Based HIV and Substance Use Preventive Intervention

  • Kathryn E. McCollister
  • Derek M. Freitas
  • Guillermo Prado
  • Hilda Pantin
Original Paper


This paper presents results from a pilot study of the synergies between the opportunity costs incurred by research participants, participant compensation, and program attendance in a family-based substance use and HIV preventive intervention for Hispanic adolescents in Miami-Dade County, Florida. To estimate parent/caretaker cost per session and cost for the duration of the intervention, we administered the Caretaker Drug Abuse Treatment Cost Analysis Program to a random sample of 34 families who participated in a recent clinical trial of Familias Unidas. The total opportunity cost per parent/caretaker was under $40 per group session, under $30 per family session, and just over $570 for the duration of the intervention. Participants were compensated between $40 and $50 per session and attended more than 79 % of family and group sessions. Parents and caretakers incurred a cost of approximately $30–40 per intervention session for which they were adequately compensated. Attendance was very good overall for this group (>79 %) and significantly higher than attendance in a comparable uncompensated study group from another recent Familias Unidas trial that targeted similar youth. Findings suggest that incentives should be considered important for future implementations of Familias Unidas and similar family-based interventions that target minority and low-SES populations.


Opportunity cost Financial incentives HIV/drug use prevention Caretaker cost 



Funding for this study was provided by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (R01 DA025894; R01 DA 017462; R01 DA031785; P30 DA027828). We are grateful to Maria Tapia for facilitating the pilot study, Gisele Leon-Jiminez and Meghan Calfee for conducting phone interviews, and to the Familias Unidas families who agreed to participate. We are also grateful to Shi Huang, Carmen Martinez, and William Russell for research support and editorial assistance.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kathryn E. McCollister
    • 1
  • Derek M. Freitas
    • 1
  • Guillermo Prado
    • 2
  • Hilda Pantin
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Public Health Sciences (R669)University of Miami Miller School of MedicineMiamiUSA
  2. 2.Center for Family StudiesUniversity of Miami Miller School of MedicineMiamiUSA
  3. 3.Center for Family StudiesUniversity of Miami Miller School of MedicineMiamiUSA

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