Families Preparing the New Generation: Effectiveness Trial

A Parent-Child Approach to Substance Abuse Prevention for Mexican American Youth

Principal Investigator: Flavio F. Marsiglia

Funding: National Institutes of Health/National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, center grant award P20 MD002316 NIMHD (2012-2017)

In collaboration with the American Dream Academy, this study is implementing and testing an innovative and highly significant prevention program by integrating two existing school-based parent and youth interventions into a new community-based approach to prevent substance use among acculturating Mexican heritage youth. This research applies the ecodevelopmental approach to strengthen family functioning, reduce youth’s acculturative stress, and increase youth drug refusal skills.  The guiding hypothesis is that by synchronizing the two interventions in a community-based setting, the intervention will yield stronger youth and parent desired outcomes and will be more cost-effective.  This hypothesis will be tested through a randomized control trial (RCT) in a community-based setting. The RCT compares 1) The aligned Parent-Youth intervention, with 2) The Parent-Only intervention; and 3) Control (treatment as usual). The study also tests whether hypothesized mediators (e.g., family functioning, parenting skills and social support) and moderators (acculturation and acculturative stress) influence the program’s effectiveness. The findings will increase knowledge about sustainable and efficacious community-based prevention and about specific approaches to overcome barriers to prevention that are present in the changing social and school environments of the Southwest and the nation.


  • Completed waves 1, 2, and 3 on Cohorts 1 and 2 (N=376 parent-youth dyads)
  • Beginning wave 3 data collection in 9 schools for Cohort 3

Ayón, C., Baldwin, A., Umaña-Taylor, A. J., Marsiglia, F. F., & Harthun, M. (2016). Agarra el momento/seize the moment: Developing communication activities for a drug prevention intervention with and for Latino families in the US Southwest. Qualitative Social Work: QSW: Research and Practice, 15(2), 281–299. https://doi.org/10.1177/1473325014566487


Ayón, C., Williams, L. R., Marsiglia, F. F., Ayers, S., & Kiehne, E. (2015). A Latent Profile Analysis of Latino Parenting: The Infusion of Cultural Values on Family Conflict. Families in Society: The Journal of Contemporary Human Services, 96(3), 203–210. https://doi.org/10.1606/1044-3894.2015.96.25



Baldwin-White, A. J. M., Kiehne, E., Umaña-Taylor, A., & Marsiglia, F. F. (2017). In Pursuit of Belonging: Acculturation, Perceived Discrimination, and Ethnic-Racial Identity among Latino Youths. Social Work Research, 41(1), 43–52. https://doi.org/10.1093/swr/svw029



Bermúdez Parsai, M., Castro, F. G., Marsiglia, F. F., Harthun, M. L., & Valdez, H. (2011). Using community based participatory research to create a culturally grounded intervention for parents and youth to prevent risky behaviors. Prevention Science: The Official Journal of the Society for Prevention Research, 12(1), 34–47. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11121-010-0188-z



Boyas, J. F., Villarreal-Otálora, T., & Marsiglia, F. F. (2019). Alcohol Use among Latinx Early Adolescents: Exploring the Role of the Family. Journal of Alcohol and Drug Education, 63(2), 35–58. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6824262/



Castro, F. G., Barrera, M., & Holleran Steiker, L. K. (2010). Issues and challenges in the design of culturally adapted evidence-based interventions. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, 6, 213–239. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-clinpsy-033109-132032



Castro, F. G., Kellison, J. G., Boyd, S. J., & Kopak, A. (2010). A Methodology for Conducting Integrative Mixed Methods Research and Data Analyses. Journal of Mixed Methods Research, 4(4), 342–360. https://doi.org/10.1177/1558689810382916



Castro, F. G., Marsiglia, F. F., Kulis, S., & Kellison, J. G. (2010). Lifetime segmented assimilation trajectories and health outcomes in Latino and other community residents. American Journal of Public Health, 100(4), 669–676. https://doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2009.167999



Hedberg, E. C., & Ayers, S. (2015). The power of a paired t-test with a covariate. Social Science Research, 50, 277–291. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ssresearch.2014.12.004



Marsiglia, F. F., Ayers, S. L., Baldwin-White, A., & Booth, J. (2016). Changing Latino Adolescents’ Substance Use Norms and Behaviors: the Effects of Synchronized Youth and Parent Drug Use Prevention Interventions. Prevention Science: The Official Journal of the Society for Prevention Research, 17(1), 1–12. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11121-015-0574-7



Marsiglia, F. F., Ayers, S. L., Han, S., & Weide, A. (2019). The Role of Culture of Origin on the Effectiveness of a Parents-Involved Intervention to Prevent Substance Use Among Latino Middle School Youth: Results of a Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial. Prevention Science: The Official Journal of the Society for Prevention Research, 20(5), 643–654. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11121-018-0968-4



Marsiglia, F. F., Ayers, S. L., & Kiehne, E. (2019). Reducing inhalant use in Latino adolescents through synchronized parent-adolescent interventions. Journal of Prevention & Intervention in the Community, 47(3), 182–197. https://doi.org/10.1080/10852352.2019.1603675



Marsiglia, F. F., & Booth, J. M. (2015). Cultural Adaptation of Interventions in Real Practice Settings. Research on Social Work Practice, 25(4), 423–432. https://doi.org/10.1177/1049731514535989



Marsiglia, F. F., Booth, J. M., Baldwin, A., & Ayers, S. (2013). Acculturation and Life Satisfaction Among Immigrant Mexican Adults. Advances in Social Work, 14(1), 49–64.



Marsiglia, F. F., Nagoshi, J. L., Parsai, M., Booth, J. M., & Castro, F. G. (2014). The Parent-Child Acculturation Gap, Parental Monitoring, and Substance Use in Mexican Heritage Adolescents in Mexican Neighborhoods of the Southwest U.S. Journal of Community Psychology, 42(5), 530–543. https://doi.org/10.1002/jcop.21635



Marsiglia, F. F., Nagoshi, J. L., Parsai, M., & Castro, F. G. (2012). The influence of linguistic acculturation and parental monitoring on the substance use of Mexican-heritage adolescents in predominantly Mexican enclaves of the Southwest US. Journal of Ethnicity in Substance Abuse, 11(3), 226–241. https://doi.org/10.1080/15332640.2012.701566



Marsiglia, F. F., Nagoshi, J. L., Parsai, M., & Castro, F. G. (2014). The effects of parental acculturation and parenting practices on the substance use of Mexican-heritage adolescents from southwestern Mexican neighborhoods. Journal of Ethnicity in Substance Abuse, 13(3), 288–311. https://doi.org/10.1080/15332640.2014.905215



Marsiglia, F. F., Williams, L. R., Ayers, S. L., & Booth, J. M. (2014). Familias: Preparando la Nueva Generación: A Randomized Control Trial Testing the Effects on Positive Parenting Practices. Research on Social Work Practice, 24(3), 310–320. https://doi.org/10.1177/1049731513498828






Williams, L. R., Ayers, S. L., Garvey, M. M., Marsiglia, F. F., & Castro, F. G. (2012). Efficacy of a Culturally Based Parenting Intervention: Strengthening Open Communication Between Mexican-Heritage Parents and Adolescent Children. Journal of the Society for Social Work and Research, 3(4), 296–307. https://doi.org/10.5243/jsswr.2012.18



Williams, L. R., Marsiglia, F. F., Baldwin, A., & Ayers, S. (2015). Unintended Effects of an Intervention Supporting Mexican-Heritage Youth: Decreased Parent Heavy Drinking. Research on Social Work Practice, 25(2), 181–189. https://doi.org/10.1177/1049731514524030