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University of Texas at Austin

Social Work Research Development Program
for Underserved Populations

KO1 Award Application: Acculturation and Adolescent Drug Prevention

Lori K. Holleran, Ph.D., Principal Investigator

In the United States, few substance abuse prevention approaches have proven effective in reducing substance use among adolescents in general, and even fewer have been evaluated for their effectiveness with ethnic minority youths (Forgey, Schinke, and Cole, 1997; Gorman, 1998). Most drug resistance programs are evaluated in school settings missing the youth at highest risk for drug use/abuse. For example, lifetime rates of alcohol and other drug (AOD) use are higher among homeless and street youth than among sheltered or household youth (Greene, Ennett, and Ringwalt, 1997). In fact, one study found that Hispanic homeless youth were more likely than other ethnic groups to continue use of AOD after leaving home (Koopman et al., 1994). Consequently, this study will take place in community settings with youth in a variety of living situations. Exploring alternative means of prevention intervention delivery, this unique study will include youth from community centers, alternative programs, and homeless youth. This R03 research project will examine the impact of videos created by adolescents of the Arizona Drug Resistance Strategies project with a population of youths in Texas in order to (1) determine the effectiveness of the prevention videos as tools with youths in Texas, (2) explore the relevant culture and related resistance strategies among youth in a setting other than schools (i.e., community centers, alternative programs, and homeless shelters). This exploratory study focuses on the comparison between Texas youth in varied community settings with regards to identification with the drug resistance strategies and videos as well as the unique characteristics of high risk youth outside of the school setting. The methodology includes a quantitative pretest/posttest design as well as qualitative focus groups before and after the intervention. The research objective is to explore the impact of the videos and prevention strategies to varied populations of youth in Texas. This project will serve as a pilot to a follow-up study addressing culturally grounded drug resistance strategies with a sample of youth throughout the United States. Being that this study is a pilot of a larger R03 that has been submitted and given a high score (received a 222 on a scale from 100 best to 500 worst) by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), after its resubmission to the National Institute of Health (NIH).

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