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The Research

Familia Adelante Evaluation Familia Adelante was initially tested with middle school aged youth with behavioral problems in a Southern California community (Cervantes 1993). Results from that initial study revealed the following outcomes: • Screening of high-risk youth through a collaborative effort between project staff and school-based personnel (Glendale Unified School district) is possible. • Program content which is provided in Spanish for parents, and which is culturally-responsive appears to be an acceptable form of prevention/intervention for these high-risk families. • The use of bilingual outreach personnel allows for tracking and retention of high-risk families. • The use of bilingual outreach personnel allows for tracking and retention of high-risk families. • Over 75% of participating families completed the twelve-week prevention program. • Participating youth were noted to improve in terms of self-esteem, school performance, and overall conduct as reported by parents. Familia Adelante was also rigorously tested in a SAMHSA funded program, the Blythe Street Project in Van Nuys, California, conducted in an apartment complex on a street of the same name. The target group was one hundred and thirty-three children with ages ranging from 9 to 14 years old. Two separate analyses were conducted to determine the effects of the HSIP for participating youth and parents. The first analysis relies on data obtained from the National Cross-Site Evaluation Survey and was primarily specific to alcohol, tobacco, and other drug (ATOD) related risk factors. This compared scores for participating youth only with pre- post data comparisons conducted to determine six-month program effects. A second level of analysis was conducted for both parent and youth to determine 3-month program effects using local evaluation survey instruments. In more recent studies of FA (Cervantes, Goldbach & Santos, 2011) research examined the use of FA strategies for reducing multiple risk behaviors in a predominantly Mexican–American sample of n=150 families. Through a modular approach, participants engaged in a psycho-educational curriculum to enhance communication and psychosocial coping, increase substance abuse and HIV knowledge and perception of harm, and improve school behavior. Over 12 sessions, the curriculum aimed to achieve these outcomes through an overall decrease in family and community-based stress by focusing on acculturative stress. Findings indicate that communication and perception of substance use harm were significantly enhanced, while social norms regarding sexual behavior, HIV anxiety and past use of marijuana and other illegal drugs were significantly reduced. Results show that Familia Adelante improves many areas of participant’s family life, and points toward the feasibility of multi-risk reduction behavioral health prevention approaches.
Familia Adelante Enhancing Youth and Family Life Skills