Prevention Science

, Volume 17, Issue 1, pp 1–12 | Cite as

Changing Latino Adolescents’ Substance Use Norms and Behaviors: the Effects of Synchronized Youth and Parent Drug Use Prevention Interventions

  • Flavio F. Marsiglia
  • Stephanie L. Ayers
  • Adrienne Baldwin-White
  • Jaime Booth


While parent and youth substance use prevention interventions have shown beneficial effects on preadolescents, many programs have typically targeted US born European American and African American families while overlooking the unique factors that characterize recent immigrant Latino families. This article presents the results on youth substance use when adding a culturally grounded parenting component, Familias Preparando la Nueva Generación (FPNG), to the existing and already proven efficacious classroom-based drug abuse prevention intervention, keepin’it REAL (kiR). Data come from youth (N = 267) participating in the randomized control trial of the interventions who were surveyed at baseline (beginning at 7th grade) and 18 months later (end of 8th grade). Using multivariate linear regression path analyses, results indicate when FPNG and kiR are combined, youth had significantly lowered alcohol and cigarettes use at the end of 8th grade, mediated through anti-drug norms, when compared with youth who only participated in kiR without parental participation in FPNG. These findings indicate that adolescent normative beliefs and related behaviors can be changed through synchronized culturally grounded parent and youth interventions and together can play an important role in reducing adolescent substance use.


Substance use Interventions Adolescents Parents Latino 



This research was supported by funding from the National Institutes of Health/National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD/NIH) and award P20 MD002316 (F. Marsiglia, P.I.). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIMHD or the NIH.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


  1. Ajzen, I. (1991). The theory of planned behavior. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 50, 179–211.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ajzen, I. (2011). The theory of planned behavior: Reactions and reflections. Psychology & Health, 26, 1113–1127.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Andrews, J. A., Hops, H., & Duncan, S. C. (1997). Adolescent modeling of parent substance use: The moderating effects of the relationship with the parent. Journal of Family Psychology, 11, 259–270.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bamaca-Colbert, M., Gayles, J., & Lara, R. (2011). Family correlates of adjustment profiles in Mexican-origin female adolescents. Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, 33, 123–151.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Brody, G. H., Murry, V. M., Gerrard, M., Gibbons, F. X., McNair, L., Brown, A. C., & Chen, Y. F. (2006). The strong African American families program: Prevention of youths’ high-risk behavior and a test of a model of change. Journal of Family Psychology, 20, 1–11.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Castro, F., Stein, J., & Bentler, P. (2009). Ethnic pride, traditional family values, and acculturation in early cigarette use and alcohol use among Latino adolescents. Journal of Primary Prevention, 30, 265–292.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Chen, P., & Jacobson, K. C. (2012). Developmental trajectories of substance use from early adolescence to young adulthood: Gender and racial/ethnic differences. Journal of Adolescent Health, 50, 154–163.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Collins, L. M., Murphy, S. A., & Strecher, V. (2007). The multiphase optimization strategy (MOST) and the sequential multiple assignment randomized trial (SMART): New methods for more potent eHealth interventions. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 32, S112–118.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Davidson, T., & Cardemil, E. (2009). Parent–child communication and parental involvement in Latino adolescents. Journal of Early Adolescence, 29, 99–121.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. De La Rosa, M., Holleran, L., Rugh, D., & MacMaster. (2005). Substance abuse among U.S. Latinos: A review of the literature. Journal of Social Work Practice in the Addictions, 5, 1–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Dillon, F. R., Turner, C. W., Robbins, M. S., & Szapocznik, J. (2005). Concordance among biological, interview, and self-report measures of drug use among African American and Hispanic adolescents referred for drug abuse treatment. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 19, 404.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Dumka, L. E., Lopez, V. A., & Jacobs-Carter, S. (2002). Parenting interventions adapted for Latino families: Progress and prospects. In J. M. Contreras, K. A. Kerns, & A. M. Neal-Barnett (Eds.), Latino children and families in the United States: Current research and future directions (pp. 203–231). New York: Greenwood Publishing Group.Google Scholar
  13. Eisenberg, M. E., & Forster, J. L. (2003). Adolescent smoking behavior: Measures of social norms. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 25, 122–128.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Gil, A. G., Wagner, E. F., & Vega, W. A. (2000). Acculturation, familism and alcohol use among Latino adolescent males: Longitudinal relations. Journal of Community Psychology, 28, 443–458.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Gosin, M., Marsiglia, F. F., & Hecht, M. L. (2003). Keepin’ it REAL: A drug resistance curriculum tailored to the strengths and needs of pre-adolescents of the southwest. Journal of Drug Education, 33, 119–142.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Harakeh, Z., Scholte, R., Vermulst, A., Vries, H., & Engels, R. (2004). Parental factors and adolescents’ smoking behavior: An extension of the theory of planned behavior. Preventive Medicine, 39, 951–961.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Hecht, M. L., Marsiglia, F. F., Elek, E., Wagstaff, D. A., Kulis, S., Dustman, P., & Miller-Day, M. (2003). Culturally grounded substance use prevention: An evaluation of the keepin’it REAL curriculum. Prevention Science, 4, 233–248.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Hu, L. T., & Bentler, P. M. (1999). Cutoff criteria for fit indexes in covariance structure analysis: Conventional criteria versus new alternatives. Structural Equation Modeling, 6, 1–55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Johnston, L. D., O’Malley, P. M., Bachman, J. G., & Schulenberg, J. E. (2013). Monitoring the Future national survey results on drug use, 1975–2012: Volume I, Secondary school students. Ann Arbor: Institute for Social Research, The University of Michigan.Google Scholar
  20. Kam, J. A., & Yang, S. (2013). Explicating how parent–child communication increases Latino and European American Early adolescents’ intentions to intervene in a friend’s substance use. Prevention Science, 1–11.Google Scholar
  21. Kandel, D. B., & Wu, P. (1995). The contributions of mothers and fathers to the intergenerational transmission of cigarette smoking in adolescence. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 5, 225–252.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Kelly, K. J., Comello, M. L. G., & Hunn, L. C. (2002). Parent–child communication, perceived sanctions against drug use, and youth drug involvement. Adolescence, 37, 775–87.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Keyes, K. M., Schulenberg, J. E., O’Malley, P. M., Johnston, L. D., Bachman, J. G., Li, G., & Hasin, D. (2012). Birth cohort effects on adolescent alcohol use: The influence of social norms from 1976 to 2007. Archives of General Psychiatry, 69, 1304–1313.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Kulis, S., Marsiglia, F. F., Elek, E., Dustman, P., Wagstaff, D. A., & Hecht, M. L. (2005). Mexican/Mexican American adolescents and keepin’ it REAL: An evidence-based substance use prevention program. Children and Schools, 27, 133–145.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Kumpfer, K. L., Molgaard, V., & Spoth, R. (1996). The Strengthening Families Program for the prevention of delinquency and drug use. Preventing Childhood Disorders, Substance Abuse, and Delinquency, 3, 241–267.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Marsiglia, F. F., & Hecht, M. L. (2005). keepin’ it REAL: An evidence-based program. Santa Cruz: ETR Associates.Google Scholar
  27. Marsiglia, F. F., Kulis, S., Wagstaff, D. A., Elek, E., & Dran, D. (2005). Acculturation status and substance use prevention with Mexican and Mexican-American youth. Journal of Social Work Practice in the Addictions, 5, 85–111.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Marsiglia, F. F., Nagoshi, J., Parsai, M., & Castro, F. (2012). The influence of linguistic acculturation and parental monitoring on the substance use of Mexican-heritage adolescents in predominately Mexican enclaves in the Southwest US. Journal of Ethnicity in Substance Abuse, 11, 226–241.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Marsiglia, F. F., Williams, L., Ayers, S. L., & Booth, J. M. (2013). Familias: Preparando la Nueva Generación: A randomized control trial testing the effects on positive parenting practices. Research on Social Work Practice. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1177/1049731513498828.
  30. Martinez, C. R. (2006). Effects of differential family acculturation on Latino adolescent substance use. Family Relations, 55, 306–317.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Muthén, L. K., & Muthén, B. O. (2012). Mplus user’s guide (7th ed.). Los Angeles: Muthén & Muthén.Google Scholar
  32. Oetting, E. R., & Donnermeyer, J. F. (1998). Primary socialization theory: The etiology of drug use and deviance. Substance Use & Misuse, 33, 995–1026.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Pantin, H., Coatsworth, J. D., Feaster, D. J., Newman, F. L., Briones, E., Prado, G., & Szapocznik, J. (2003). Familias Unidas: The efficacy of an intervention to promote parental investment in Hispanic immigrant families. Prevention Science, 4, 189–201.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Parsai, M. B., Castro, F. G., Marsiglia, F. F., Harthun, M. L., & Valdez, H. (2011). Using community based participatory research to create a culturally grounded intervention for parents and youth to prevent risky behaviors. Prevention Science, 12, 34–47.PubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Perez, G. K., & Cruess, D. (2014). The impact of familism on physical and mental health among Hispanics in the United States. Health Psychology Review, 8, 95–127.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Perrino, T., Gonzalez-Soldevilla, A., Pantin, G., & Szapocznik, J. (2000). The role of families in adolescent HIV prevention: A review. Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, 3, 81–96.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Perrino, T., Pantin, H., Prado, G., Huang, S., Brincks, A., Howe, G., & Brown, C. H. (2014). Preventing internalizing symptoms among Hispanic adolescents: A synthesis across Familias Unidas trials. Prevention Science : Epub ahead of print.Google Scholar
  38. Prado, G., Cordova, D., Huang, S., Estrada, Y., Rosen, A., Bacio, G. A., & McCollister, K. (2012). The efficacy of Familias Unidas on drug and alcohol outcomes for Hispanic delinquent youth: Main effects and interaction effects by parental stress and social support. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 125, S18–S25.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Schwartz, S. J., Montgomery, M. J., & Briones, E. (2006). The role of identity in acculturation among immigrant people: Theoretical propositions, empirical questions, and applied recommendations. Human Development, 49, 1–30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Spoth, R., Trudeau, L., Guyll, M., Shin, C., & Redmond, C. (2009). Universal intervention effects on substance use among young adults mediated by delayed adolescent substance initiation. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 77, 620–632.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Szapocznik, J., & Coatsworth, J. D. (1999). An ecodevelopmental framework for organizing risk and protection for drug abuse: A developmental model of risk and protection. In M. Glantz & C. R. Hartel (Eds.), Drug Abuse: Origins and Interventions (pp. 331–366). Washington: American Psychological Association.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Voisine, S., Parsai, M., Marsiglia, F. F., Kulis, S., & Nieri, T. (2008). Effects of parental monitoring, permissiveness, and injunctive norms on substance use among Mexican and Mexican American adolescents. Families in Society: The Journal of Contemporary Social Services, 89, 264–273.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Walden, B., Iacono, W. G., & McGue, M. (2007). Trajectories of change in adolescent substance use and symptomatology: Impact of paternal and maternal substance use disorders. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 21, 35–43.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Wheaton, B., Muthen, B., Alwin, D. F., & Summers, G. (1977). Assessing reliability and stability in panel models. Sociological Methodology, 8, 84–136.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Williams, L. R., Ayers, S. L., Garvey, M., Marsiglia, F. F., & Castro, F. G. (2012). The efficacy of a culturally-based parenting intervention: Strengthening open communication between Mexican-heritage parents and their adolescent children. Journal of the Society for Social Work and Research, 3, 296–307. doi: 10.5243/jsswr.2012.18ng.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Williams, L. R., Marsiglia, F. F., Baldwin, A., & Ayers, S. L. (2014). Unintended effects of an intervention supporting Mexican-heritage youth: Decreased parent heavy drinking. Research on Social Work Practice. doi: 10.1177/ 1049731514524030.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Society for Prevention Research 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Flavio F. Marsiglia
    • 1
  • Stephanie L. Ayers
    • 1
  • Adrienne Baldwin-White
    • 1
  • Jaime Booth
    • 2
  1. 1.Arizona State UniversityPhoenixUSA
  2. 2.University of PittsburgPittsburgUSA

Personalised recommendations