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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

Investigator: Lori K. Holleran, Ph.D.

Current Project Status and Findings

The long-term objective of this K01 application is to expand the applicantâs research capabilities in the area of acculturation and adolescent drug abuse prevention/intervention. The applicantâs clinical background and research experience have been in the areas of adolescent substance abuse, ethnic identity, and prevention programs, largely involving the application of qualitative methodologies. The present application proposes a structured program of mentoring, training and supervised research designed to increase the applicantâs capacity to conduct high-quality research blending state of the art qualitative and quantitative methodologies.

This K01 will assist her in expanding her research capacity through the following specific aims:

1) To enhance the applicantâs skills to become an independent researcher with expertise in the area of culturally grounded substance abuse prevention through a structured program of: a) mentoring by a team of nationally known federally-funded researchers, b) course work in areas of theory, methodology, and intervention design, and c) training visits to nationally known substance abuse research centers to gather information regarding theory, methodology, intervention strategy, project management, and grantsmanship.

2) To enhance the applicantâs skills to conduct high-quality prevention/intervention research through the conduct of a supervised research project to further explore the role of acculturation and ethnic identification and their implications for prevention/interventions with multi-ethnic high-risk youth. The applicant will collaborate with Co-mentors at Arizona State University (Marsiglia) and University of Pensylvania (Hecht) to conduct a field trial in Austin Texas of the Drug Resistance Strategies (DRS) project, a school-based prevention curriculum with an acculturation component. Specifically, this will involve a replication of the DRS curriculum with two innovations stemming from the applicantâs preliminary studies: a) addition of expanded conceptualization and measurement of acculturation and acculturative stress constructs, and b) testing of the DRS with multiethnic high-risk youth in community-based sites often excluded by school-based programs.

3) To design an RO1 application to develop and evaluate new acculturatively appropriate prevention approaches with high risk youth in community settings. Ultimately, the applicant intends to design specific interventions that bridge prevention and intervention with multiethnic high-risk youth.

Currently, the applicant is involved in the analysis of pilot data on N = 72 adolescents (33 boys; 37 girls) drawn from several community-based programs (shelters, community-based programs such as Boys/Girls clubs, and alternative learning programs) in Austin, Texas, funded through a small grant from the Center for Health Promotion Research at the UT-Austin School of Nursing. The pilot study was conducted to: 1) provide preliminary data on substance abuse prevalence among adolescents (and ethnic differences in drug usage), 2) to provide psychometric data on Cuellarâs Acculturative Type measures (Anglo Orientation Scale (AOS) and Mexican Orientation Scale (MOS)) among Anglo, Mexican American, and African American Youth. Pilot data are collected to demonstrate the feasibility of recruitment and measurement strategies for a larger implementation of the DRS program in these settings.

Preliminary analyses indicated significant ethnic differences in substance abuse (last month) prevalence in the sample (median age = 16), with African Americans reporting significantly lower prevalence of marijuana and cocaine (p < .05) than other youth.

Further psychometric analyses examined: 1) the internal consistency reliability of AOS and MOS dimensions among ethnic subgroups of youth, and 2) whether AOS and MOS composite scores would differentiate among Anglo, African American, and Hispanic youth.

As respondents answered both AOS and MOS items, it was possible to examine ethnic differences via a 3 (ethnicity) x 2 (AOS/MOS) Repeated Measures ANOVA. A significant interaction effect was obtained, indicating that African Americans and Hispanic youth scored significantly lower than Anglos on the AOS, while Anglos and African Americans scored significantly lower than Hispanics on the MOS. Overall, AOS and MOS measures differentiated ethnic subgroups of youth.

Analyses are continuing to examine possible relationships between acculturation type subgroups and drug use variables.

These preliminary findings demonstrate a high prevalence of substance abuse in these communities (i.e., non-school) settings, highlighting both the importance of programs targeting these youth as well as highlighting the need to bridge prevention and intervention in these settings.

Funded by

Supported by a grant from the Center for Health Promotion Research (CHPR) University of Texas School of Nursing. (Margaret Taylor, Ph.D. and Elizabeth Pomeroy, Ph.D, Co-Investigators)

Publications and Presentations:

Holleran, L. & Waller, M. A. (in press). Sources of resilience of Chicano/a Youth: Forging identities in the borderlands. Child and Adolescent Social Work.

Holleran, L., Reeves, L., Marsiglia, F. F., & Dustman, P. (2002) Creating culturally grounded videos for substance abuse prevention: A dual perspective on process. Journal of Social Work Practice in the Addictions, 2(1), 55-78.

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