Results of a recent study support an association between a universal middle school intervention and alcohol misuse and alcohol use disorders among Mexican American high school students and implementation of universal middle school interventions to reach Latino communities. A previous randomized clinical trial was conducted with 516 Mexican American 7th graders. 3 annual cohorts of families were randomized to the 9-session Bridges/Puentes family-focused group intervention or a workshop control condition. Data acquisition for the follow-up assessments of late-adolescent alcohol misuse and abuse, which were not included in the initial randomized clinical trial, was conducted from September 2009-September 2014. In this assessment, 420 children (81.4%; 215 [51.2%] girls, mean age 17.9) from the sample were included. Researchers found:
- The intervention reduced the likelihood of having an alcohol use disorder.
- Intervention associations with past-year alcohol use frequency, binge drinking, and drunkenness were moderated by baseline substance use.
- The intervention reduced the frequency of alcohol use and drunkenness among youth who reported any previous substance use at baseline (T1 initiators) but not among those who had not initiated any substance use (T1 abstainers) at baseline.
Gonzales NA, Jensen M, Tein JY, Wing JJ, Dumka LE, Mauricio AM. Effect of middle school interventions on alcohol misuse and abuse in Mexican American high school adolescents five-year follow-up of a randomized clinical trial. [Published online ahead of print March 21, 2018]. JAMA Psychiatry. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2018.0058.
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