A Randomized Controlled Trial of Familias Unidas for Hispanic Adolescents With Behavior Problems

Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami, 1425 N.W. 10 Ave., 3 floor, Miami, FL 33136, USA.
Psychosomatic Medicine (Impact Factor: 3.47). 10/2009; 71(9):987-95. DOI: 10.1097/PSY.0b013e3181bb2913
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To evaluate the efficacy of Familias Unidas, a Hispanic-specific, parent-centered intervention, in preventing/reducing adolescent substance use, unsafe sexual behavior, and externalizing disorders.
A total of 213 8th grade Hispanic adolescents with behavior problems and their primary caregivers were assigned randomly to one of two conditions: Familias Unidas or Community Control. Participants were assessed at baseline and at 6, 18, and 30 months post baseline.
Results showed that, relative to a Community Control condition, Familias Unidas was efficacious in preventing or reducing externalizing disorders, preventing and reducing substance use, and in reducing unsafe sexual behavior. The effects of Familias Unidas on these outcomes were partially mediated by improvements in family functioning.
These findings suggest that parent-centered intervention is an efficacious strategy for preventing/reducing specific health risk behaviors in Hispanic adolescents with behavior problems.

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Available from: Hendricks Brown, Oct 11, 2014
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    • "Few interventions to prevent underage drinking have specifically targeted Latino youth or families [54, 55]. Further research is needed to design culturally appropriate interventions that are likely to be accepted among Latino families. "
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study is to further the understanding of how parenting and the relationship between the parent and the youth influence adolescent alcohol use in Mexican American families, with particular attention to acculturation. Results indicated that parental warmth is a strong factor in predicting adolescent alcohol use amongMexican adolescents.The parent-youth relationship played an important role in lowering alcohol use for Mexican American youth. Acculturation has an impact on the level of warmth, control, and the parent-youth relationship for Mexican American families. Findings indicate that there are unique family mechanisms for Mexican American families that should be considered when developing prevention and treatment options.
    03/2013; 2013:1-9. DOI:10.1155/2013/205189
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    • "Because base rates for other illicit drugs were extremely low, only marijuana use (in addition to cigarette and alcohol use) was included in the analyses reported here. This was the same outcome that was used in the major outcome publication of this study (Pantin et al., 2009). "
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    ABSTRACT: Hispanic adolescents are disproportionately affected by externalizing disorders, substance use and HIV infection. Despite these health inequities, few interventions have been found to be efficacious for this population, and even fewer studies have examined whether the effects of such interventions vary as a function of ecodevelopmental and intrapersonal risk subgroups. The aim of this study was to determine whether and to what extent the effects of Familias Unidas, an evidence-based preventive intervention, vary by ecodevelopmental and intrapersonal risk subgroups. Data from 213 Hispanic adolescents (mean age = 13.8, SD = 0.76) who were enrolled in a randomized clinical trial evaluating the relative efficacy of Familias Unidas on externalizing disorders, substance use, and unprotected sexual behavior were analyzed. The results showed that Familias Unidas was efficacious over time, in terms of both externalizing disorders and substance use, for Hispanic youth with high family ecodevelopmental risk (e.g., poor parent-adolescent communication), but not with youth with moderate ecodevelopmental or low ecodevelopmental risk. The results suggest that classifying adolescents based on their family ecodevelopmental risk may be an especially effective strategy for examining moderators of family-based preventive interventions such as Familias Unidas. Moreover, these results suggest that Familias Unidas should potentially be targeted toward youth with high family ecodevelopmental risk. The utility of the methods presented in this article to other prevention scientists, including genetic, neurobiological and environmental scientists, is discussed.
    Prevention Science 02/2013; 14(3). DOI:10.1007/s11121-012-0326-x · 2.63 Impact Factor
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    • "Further, testing a method to train mothers and adolescents to provide parental knowledge reports would inform both applied and basic research. For instance, interventions have been developed to change parental knowledge in order to prevent or reduce adolescent risk behaviors, and controlled trials of family-based interventions often focus on parental knowledge as a key outcome for testing efficacy (e.g., Pantin et al. 2009; Stanton et al. 2000, 2004; Wu et al. 2003). These interventions focus on parental knowledge because it robustly predicts the development of adolescent delinquency , risk-taking behaviors, and drug use (see Dishion and McMahon 1998; Smetana 2008). "
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    ABSTRACT: Researchers and practitioners conduct multi-informant assessments of child and family behavior under the assumption that informants have unique perspectives on these behaviors. These unique perspectives stem, in part, from differences among informants in the settings in which they observe behaviors (e.g., home, school, peer interactions). These differences are assumed to contribute to the discrepancies commonly observed in the outcomes of multi-informant assessments. Although assessments often prompt informants to think about setting-specific behaviors when providing reports about child and family behavior, the notion that differences in setting-based behavioral observations contribute to discrepant reports has yet to be experimentally tested. We trained informants to use setting information as the basis for providing behavioral reports, with a focus on parental knowledge of children’s whereabouts and activities. Using a within-subjects controlled design, we randomly assigned 16 mothers and adolescents to the order in which they received a program that trains informants to use setting information when providing parental knowledge reports (Setting-Sensitive Assessment), and a control program involving no training on how to provide reports. Relative to the control program, the Setting-Sensitive Assessment training increased the differences between mother and adolescent reports of parental knowledge, suggesting that mothers and adolescents observe parental knowledge behaviors in different settings. This study provides the first experimental evidence to support the assumption that discrepancies arise because informants incorporate unique setting information into their reports.
    Journal of Child and Family Studies 02/2013; 22(2):177-191. DOI:10.1007/s10826-012-9567-3 · 1.42 Impact Factor
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