This article reports on a cluster randomized prevention trial used to evaluate the Strong African American Families Program, a universal preventive intervention to deter alcohol use among rural African American adolescents.
This 7-week family skills training program is based on a contextual model in which intervention effects on youth protective factors lead to changes in alcohol use. African American 11-year-olds and their primary caregivers from 9 rural communities (N - 332 families) were randomly selected for study participation. Communities were randomized to prevention and control conditions. Intent-to-treat analyses indicated that fewer adolescents in the prevention group initiated alcohol use compared to adolescents in the control group. Those in the program group who did initiate alcohol use showed slower increases in use over time compared to the control group. Intervention-induced changes in youth protective factors mediated the effect of group assignment on long-term changes in use. (publisher abstract modified)