Expanding urban American Indian youths' repertoire of drug resistance skills: Pilot results from a culturally adapted prevention program

Stephen Kulis, Patricia A. Dustman, Eddie F. Brown, Marcos Martinez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Scopus citations


This article examines changes in the drug resistance strategies used by urban American Indian (UAI) middle school students during a pilot test of a substance use prevention curriculum designed specifically for UAI youth, Living in 2 Worlds (L2W). L2W teaches four drug resistance strategies (refuse, explain, avoid, leave [R-E-A-L]) in culturally appropriate ways. Data come from 57 UAI students (53% female; mean age = 12.5 years) who participated in L2W during an academic enrichment class for Native youth at two Phoenix schools. Students completed a pre-test questionnaire before the L2W lessons and a post-test 7 months later. Questions assessed the use of R-EA-L and alternative strategies commonly reported by UAI youth (change the subject, use humor). Tests of mean differences from pre-test to post-test showed significant increases in use of refuse, explain, and leave, and an expanding R-E-A-L repertoire. Use of more passive strategies (avoid, use humor) did not change significantly, except for change the subject, which increased. Changes in the use of strategies did not differ significantly by gender, age, school grades, parental education, or length of urban residence. The L2W curriculum appears effective in teaching culturally relevant communication strategies that expand UAI youths' repertoire of drug resistance skills.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-54
Number of pages20
JournalAmerican Indian and Alaska Native Mental Health Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 30 2013


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Anthropology
  • History
  • Psychology(all)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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