Tobacco and alcohol use-prevention program for Hispanic migrant adolescents

John P. Elder, Alan J. Litrownik, Donald J. Slymen, Nadia R. Campbell, Deborah Parra-Medina, Sunny Choe, Virginia Lee, Guadalupe X. Ayala

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Objectives: Evaluate a community-based tobacco/alcohol use-prevention program group compared with an attention-control condition (first aid/home safety) group. Methods: A total of 660 adolescents and 1 adult caregiver for each were recruited through the Migrant Education Program to participate in an 8-week intervention. Random assignment to the two groups occurred in 22 schools. Seventy 8-week intervention groups (37 tobacco/alcohol and 33 attention-control) were conducted. Assessments occurred at baseline, immediate post-intervention, and 1- and 2-year follow-ups. Susceptibility to smoking and alcohol as well as smoking and drinking over the past 30 days were the primary outcomes of interest. Results: Following intervention, no between-group differences in smoking or drinking were significant. Thirty-day smoking started and remained at very low levels, with the highest group prevalence at any measurement period being 4.7% and the lowest 2.5%. Those considered susceptible to smoking dropped by nearly 40% in the attention-control group and by 50% in the intervention group from baseline to the final follow-up. (The overall reduction from post-test to final follow-up was statistically significant.) Less-acculturated children were less likely to report drinking in the past 30 days. Conclusions: The current intervention was not demonstrated to be effective in preventing cigarette or alcohol consumption. This perhaps is due to very low baseline levels of smoking and drinking in the migrant youth participants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)269-275
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Preventive Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescence
  • Alcohol drinking
  • Hispanic Americans
  • Intervention studies
  • Primary prevention
  • Smoking
  • Tobacco
  • Transients and migrants

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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