Inhalants pose a particularly dangerous risk to middle-school youth, and American Indian (AI) youth are at particular risk for inhalant use. We have found over the course of more than three decades that inhalant use among AI youth is consistently higher than that of other ethnic/racial groups. Although inhalant use rates for AI youth gradually declined from a peak of 31% in 1984 through 2004, our data show a substantial increase in lifetime prevalence of inhalants among AI 7th - 12th grade youth -- from 10% to 25%. Schools are often the site for adolescent drug prevention efforts, but results from these efforts are often modest or even disappointing. This intervention adapts an existing campaign (Be under Your Own Influence;BUYOI) that has been found to be effective in reducing substance use and that uses campaign messages that are congruent with AI culture. The intervention will be adapted using significant contributions from tribal members, including youth, teachers, parents, elders, and other community members. This proposal includes active involvement of local advisory boards, hiring of a local AI liaison, focus groups, a youth photo voice component, and use of AI staff from our Center and from the Native American Cultural Center at our university. The adapted anti-inhalant communications campaign will be delivered by selected high school students to 7th grade students. A distinguishing feature of the BUYOI campaign is a message that targets outcome expectations related to aspirations, autonomy, and physical harms. The campaign will use multiple channels of communication including print (e.g., posters and fliers), video and audio spots, presentations, and social media to deliver messages that are designed to alter outcome expectancies, intentions, and ultimately inhalant use among targeted youth. The campaign will be delivered to two cohorts of 7th graders, with 4 longitudinal measurement occasions for each cohort. Seven middle schools (and their corresponding high schools) have been recruited for the study, where four of these will be randomly assigned to the intervention condition and three to the control condition. Multilevel data analysis will test for effects of campaign exposure on autonomy, aspirations, perceived harm, and intentions to use. Because of the heavy involvement of the school and community in the development and delivery of the intervention, we will be able to incorporate sustainability into the design of all integrated components. Ultimately, our goal is to develop a turnkey package for the broader population of reservation-based AI youth and schools and to develop components that can incorporate flexibility and creativity in their delivery. For example, a school or local group may implement the campaign in its original form or they may modify aspects to make them more pertinent to their community.
Although inhalant use rates for AI youth declined from 1984 through 2004, recent data show a substantial increase in lifetime prevalence of inhalants among American Indian (AI) youth. The goal of this project is to test the effectiveness of a successful anti-drug communications campaign (Be Under your Own Influence) to lower inhalant use among AI 7th graders. The campaign uses messages that support youths'personal autonomy and future aspirations, and these messages are delivered to 7th graders using high school students. Our goal is to develop a turnkey package for the broader population of AI youth and schools and to develop components that can incorporate flexibility and creativity in their delivery.