Short-Term Effects on Family Communication and Adolescent Conduct Problems: Familias Unidas in Ecuador

Lourdes Molleda, Yannine Estrada, Tae Kyoung Lee, Sofia Poma, Ana M.Quevedo Terán, Cecilia Condo Tamayo, Monica Bahamon, Maria I. Tapia, Maria R. Velázquez, Hilda Pantin, Guillermo Prado

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Familias Unidas, a Hispanic/Latino-specific, parent-centered intervention, found to be efficacious in improving family functioning and reducing externalizing behaviors among youth in the USA, was recently adapted and tested for use in Ecuador. This study examined the short-term efficacy of Familias Unidas in Ecuador on parent-adolescent communication, parental monitoring of peers, and youth conduct problems. Two hundred thirty-nine youths (ages 12–14 years) and their primary care givers were randomized to either Familias Unidas or Community Practice and assessed pre- and post-intervention. There was a significant difference between Familias Unidas and Community Practice in conduct problems at 3 months (standardized β = −.101, p =.001, effect size =.262). A significant indirect intervention effect was also detected, indicating that Familias Unidas predicted conduct problems at 3 months through parent-adolescent communication at 3 months (standardized β = −.036, p =.016, CI 95% [−.066, −.007], effect size =.265). Familias Unidas was efficacious in reducing conduct problems through improved parent-adolescent communication, relative to Community Practice. Future assessments will determine whether Familias Unidas also has an impact on substance use and sexual risk behaviors at later time points, as demonstrated in past Familias Unidas trials. The short-term effects of the intervention, family engagement, and facilitator skill in the Ecuadorian adaptation of Familias Unidas are promising. This study implies that an intervention developed for Hispanics/Latinos in the USA and culturally adapted and implemented for use by Hispanics/Latinos in a Latin American country can be efficacious in improving family functioning and reducing youth conduct problems. Trial registration: MSP-DIS-2015-0055-0, Ministry of Public Health (MSP), Ecuador.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)783-792
Number of pages10
JournalPrevention Science
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 1 2017


  • Conduct problems
  • Cultural adaptation
  • Family communication
  • Family-based intervention
  • Hispanic adolescents

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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