Hispanic adolescents experience more severe alcohol-related consequences due to their alcohol abuse and yet significantly fewer Hispanic adolescents receive alcohol treatment, particularly among justice-involved youth. Despite the level of research that has been conducted on motivational interviewing (MI) with mainstream samples, no published studies have investigated the efficacy of this brief, individual intervention with Hispanic adolescents. The overarching objective of this application is to evaluate the efficacy of a brief individual intervention (MI) for problem drinking behaviors with a sample of justice-involved Hispanic and Caucasian adolescents to determine if this intervention is differentially effective between Hispanic and Caucasian adolescents. Specifically, the first aim is to determine whether an MI intervention targeting alcohol abuse is effective at reducing alcohol use and related risk behavior in a sample of adolescent alcohol abusers.
The second aim i s to examine whether the effects of MI on problem drinking outcomes (e.g., alcohol problems, quantity of drinking, frequency of binging) are different between Hispanic versus Caucasian adolescents. Because it is important to determine the mechanisms that mediate the effects of MI and determine whether these mechanisms differ between Caucasian and Hispanic adolescents, the third aim is to examine whether group (Hispanic vs. Caucasian) moderates the meditational linkages in the overall model using a cross-groups approach to moderated mediation (Aiken, Stein, &Bentler, 1994;Bentler, 1995). To accomplish these aims, 453 Caucasian and Hispanic justice-involved alcohol abusing adolescents (ages 14-17) will be randomized to either two 60 minute MI interventions (one at baseline and a second, one week later) or an assessment only control condition (AO). All adolescents will receive behavioral assessments at baseline, 3, 6 and 12 months. The proposed research is expected to take a significant step towards reducing current racial/ethnic health disparities in alcohol treatment for Hispanic adolescents.

Public Health Relevance

Despite the advances made in developing efficacious brief alcohol abuse interventions for mainstream adolescents, no studies have evaluated the efficacy of brief (2 session) individual alcohol abuse interventions for Hispanic adolescents. In the face of their higher need, but lower likelihood of receiving effective alcohol interventions, this research is designed to evaluate the efficacy of a brief intervention, motivational interviewing (MI), with Hispanic adolescents. This research will also identify potential culturally-specific moderators in problem drinking outcomes following this brief intervention. This research will take a significant step towards reducing current racial/ethnic health disparities and improving alcohol treatment for Hispanic adolescents.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
Research Project (R01)
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Risk, Prevention and Intervention for Addictions Study Section (RPIA)
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Godette, Dionne
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University of New Mexico
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