Evaluation of a tobacco and alcohol use prevention program for hispanic migrant adolescents: Promoting the protective factor of parent-child communication

Alan J. Litrownik, John P. Elder, Nadia R. Campbell, Guadalupe X. Ayala, Donald J. Slymen, Deborah Parra-Medina, Francisco B. Zavala, Chris Y. Lovato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


Background. Interventions designed to prevent tobacco and alcohol use targeting high-risk adolescents are limited. In addition, few studies have attempted to improve parent-child communication skills as a way of improving and maintaining healthy youth decision-making. Methods. A total of 660 Hispanic migrant families participated in a randomized pre-post control group study that was utilized to determine the impact of the intervention on parent-child communication. Both treatment and attention-control groups of youth were exposed to an eight-session culturally sensitive program presented by bilingual/bicultural college students. Parents jointly attended three of the eight sessions and participated in helping their child complete homework assignments supporting the content of each session. The content of the treatment intervention included (1) information about tobacco and alcohol effects, (2) social skills training (i.e., refusal skills), and (3) the specific development of parent-child communication skills to support healthy youth decisions. Results. Significant intervention by household size interactions for both parent and youth perceptions of communication were found indicating that the treatment was effective in increasing communication in families with fewer children. Based on the effect size and the previously established relationship between communication and susceptibility to tobacco and alcohol use, it was determined that the intervention effect could be translated into a future 5 to 10% decrease in susceptibility for these smaller families. Conclusions. A culturally sensitive family-based intervention for migrant Hispanic youth was found to be effective in increasing perceived parent-child communication in families with fewer children. It is expected that increases in this important protective factor will lead to later observed decreases in tobacco and alcohol use. (C) 2000 American Health Foundation and Academic Press.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)124-133
Number of pages10
JournalPreventive Medicine
Issue number2 I
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescents
  • Alcohol
  • Communication
  • Hispanic
  • Migrant
  • Parental monitoring
  • Susceptibility
  • Tobacco

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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