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Decreasing Substance use Risk among African American Youth: Parent-based Mechanisms of Change

African American couples (N = 139; 67.7 % married; with children between the ages of 9 and 14) were randomly assigned to (a) a culturally sensitive, couple- and parenting-focused program designed to prevent stress-spillover (n = 70) or (b) an information-only control condition in which couples received self-help materials (n = 69). Eight months after baseline, youth whose parents participated in the program, compared with control youth, reported increased parental monitoring, positive racial socialization, and positive self-concept, as well as decreased conduct problems and self-reported substance use. Changes in youth-reported parenting behavior partially mediated the effect of the intervention on conduct problems and fully mediated its impact on positive self-concept, but did not mediate effects on lifetime substance use initiation. Results suggest the potential for a culturally sensitive family-based intervention targeting adults’ couple and parenting processes to enhance multiple parenting behaviors as well as decrease youths’ substance use onset and vulnerability.

 

Decreasing Substance use Risk among African American Youth: Parent-based Mechanisms of Change

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