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Reducing the Risks of Alcohol Use among Urban Youth: Three-Year Effects of a Computer-Based Intervention with and without Parent Involvement

Steven P. Schinke, Traci M. Schwinn, Jennifer Di Noia, Kristin C. Cole

Objective: This study tested a CD-ROM intervention with and without a parent involvement component to reduce risk of alcohol use among an urban sample of early adolescents. Method: Youths (N = 514, mean age 11.5 years at recruitment) were assigned randomly by community site to receive the CD-ROM intervention, the CD-ROM plus parent intervention, or no intervention. All youths completed pretest, posttest and three annual follow-up measurements. After pretesting, youths and parents received their respective interventions. Results: Main effects of the intervention and for measurement occasion as well as interaction effects of the intervention by measurement occasion were seen for substance use and related outcomes. Over time, youths in all 3 groups reported increased use of alcohol, tobacco and marijuana; youths who received the interventions reported smaller increases than control youths. At 3-year follow-up, alcohol use was lower for CD-ROM plus parent intervention youths than for CD-ROM only youths, who, in turn, reported less use than controls. Cigarette use was lower for youths in either intervention group than in the control group at posttest and at 1-, 2- and 3-year follow-ups. Marijuana use was lower for youths in either intervention than for controls at 1-, 2- and 3-year follow-ups. Youths in both intervention groups outperformed control youths at posttest and at 1- and 3-year follow-ups on levels of negative and peer influence toward substance use. Finally, at the 3-year follow-up, youths in the CD-ROM plus parent intervention group reported more family involvement in their alcohol use prevention efforts than did youths in the CD-ROM group, who, in turn, reported more positive levels of family involvement than youths in the control group. Conclusions: Study findings modestly support the CD-ROM intervention with and without the parent intervention to reduce alcohol use risks among urban early adolescents. (J. Stud. Alcohol 65: 443-449, 2004)