In the proposed project, we seek to examine the influence of urban African American mothers on the occurrence of health risk behaviors -tobacco, alcohol and other substance use (TAOS) - among their adolescent sons. The purposes of the project are to: 1) test family influences of urban adolescent males'TAOS use behaviors;2) test whether a theory-based, culture-specific, parent-child health risk reduction intervention with urban African American mothers is effective in changing the TAOS use behaviors of their adolescent sons;and 3) test which key maternal outcome variables mediate these intervention effects. The study is framed within a family-based expansion of the Theory of Reasoned Action and based on a secondary analysis of data from a RCT mother-son HIV risk reduction intervention (R01 MH55742;L. Jemmott). The original study included 575 dyads of African American mothers and their adolescent sons (11-15 years), recruited from public housing in Philadelphia, PA. Participants were randomized to one of two structurally similar conditions: a) a HIV risk-reduction condition;or b) a health promotion/risk reduction condition focusing on changing health and substance use behaviors (served as control group in the original study). In the proposed study, the HIV risk reduction condition will serve as the control group and we will examine the effects of the health promotion intervention on sons'self-reported use of TAOS. Secondary outcomes of interest and potential mediators include mothers'intentions and actual attempts to influence their sons'behaviors through monitoring, parent- teen communication and role modeling of TAOS use. Data will be analyzed using generalized estimating equations (GEE), with specification of links that are appropriate to the level of the outcome variable. Mediation of intervention effects will also be examined using key variables from the theoretical framework and the existing literature. By utilizing existing data, the proposed study will be able to answer key questions regarding family influences of TAOS use among high risk urban adolescent males for a fraction of the cost involved in conducting another RCT study and collecting new data. The findings will contribute to the development of effective family-based programs to reduce TAOS use among high-risk urban, African American adolescent males and their families.

Public Health Relevance

The reduction of substance use and tobacco behaviors among youth and adults is a primary objective of the Healthy People 2010. In this application we seek to understand how mother-son communication around tobacco, alcohol, and other substances (TAOS) may delay or decrease use of TAOS by African American adolescent males. Reduction of TAOS initiation, use, and abuse, are all important to public health. Few interventions have targeted TAOS risk reduction through a family lens. This unique perspective will help to inform public health prevention of TAOS use.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Small Research Grants (R03)
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Psychosocial Development, Risk and Prevention Study Section (PDRP)
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Crump, Aria
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University of Southern California
Schools of Social Work
Los Angeles
United States
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Cederbaum, Julie A; Petering, Robin; Hutchinson, M Katherine et al. (2015) Alcohol outlet density and related use in an urban Black population in Philadelphia public housing communities. Health Place 31:31-8