Family-Centered Intervention Effectively Reduces Risky Behavior Among Hispanic Youth

Armen Hareyan's picture
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A family-centered program that improves parent-child dynamics and family functioning is more effective at discouraging Hispanic youth from engaging in risky behavior than programs that target specific behaviors, according to a study published in the December 2007 issue of the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology.

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Hispanic adolescents are at higher risk for substance abuse and risky sexual behavior than other ethnic groups, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And while they represent 14 percent of the U.S. population, they account for a disproportionate 18 percent of all HIV/AIDS cases in the nation.1

Several types of interventions exist that aim to reduce or prevent risky behavior like substance use and unsafe sexual behavior among non-Hispanic white youth, but no studies have been conducted to determine the relative effectiveness of similar programs targeted to Hispanic youth. Guillermo Prado, Ph.D., of the University of Miami, and colleagues randomly assigned 266 eighth-grade Hispanic youth and their primary caregivers (usually the mother) to one of three interventions:

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