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Preventing Alcohol Use Among Late Adolescent Urban Youth: 6-Year Results From a Computer-Based Intervention

Traci M. Schwinn, Steven P. Schinke

Objective: This study was undertaken to evaluate the efficacy of a skills-based CD-ROM intervention, with and without a parent component, to reduce alcohol use among urban youth at 6-year follow-up. Method: At recruitment, 513 youths with a mean age of 10.8 years were randomly assigned to one of three study arms: youth CD-ROM intervention plus parent component, youth CD-ROM intervention only, or control. All youths completed pretest, posttest, and annual follow-up measures. Youths and parents in their respective arms received the initial intervention program between pretest and posttest measures and received booster interventions between each follow-up measure. Results: With 80% sample retention at 6-year follow-up, youths in both intervention arms reported less past-month alcohol and cigarette use and fewer instances of heavy drinking and negative alcohol-related consequences. Despite having similar numbers of drinking peers as youths in the control arm, youths in both intervention arms reported greater alcohol-refusal skills. Only past-month cigarette use differed between the two intervention arms, with youths in the intervention-plus-parent-component arm smoking less than youths in the CD-ROM intervention-only arm. Conclusions: Six years after initial intervention, youths who received a culturally tailored, skills-based prevention program had reduced alcohol use and lower rates of related risky behaviors than youths in the control arm. (J. Stud. Alcohol Drugs, 71, 535-538, 2010)