While substance use and sexual risk behaviors among Hispanic youth continue to be public health concerns, few evidence-based preventive interventions are developed for and implemented with Hispanic/Latino youth. The objective of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of eHealth Familias Unidas, an Internet adaptation of an evidence-based family intervention for Hispanics. A randomized controlled trial design (n = 230) was used to evaluate intervention effects on substance use and condomless sex among a sample of Hispanic eighth graders with behavioral problems. Participants were randomized to eHealth Familias Unidas (n = 113) or prevention as usual (n = 117) and assessed at baseline and 3 and 12 months post baseline. We trained mental health school personnel and community mental health professionals to recruit and deliver the Internet-based intervention with Hispanic families. It was hypothesized that, over time, eHealth Familias Unidas would be more efficacious than prevention as usual in reducing drug use (marijuana, cocaine, inhalants, and other drugs), prescription drug use, cigarette use, alcohol use, and condomless sex and that these changes would be mediated by family functioning. Significant intervention effects were found across time for drug use, prescription drug use, and cigarette use. While eHealth Familias Unidas positively affected family functioning, mediation effects were not found. This study demonstrated that family-based eHealth interventions can be efficacious among Hispanic populations when delivered in community settings.
- Drug use prevention
- Hispanic adolescents
- Internet adaptation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health