Research has shown that students respond more favorably to drug prevention programs when they see their culture and themselves represented in the prevention message. Additionally, studies highlight important ethnic differences in drug behaviors and attitudes, indicating that students' ethnic culture should be considered in the creation of prevention programs. Because there are few effective, culturally grounded programs, new approaches are needed, particularly among Mexican American youth. This need inspired the Drug Resistance Strategies Project (DRS) to develop and test the keepin' it R.E.A.L curriculum serving ethnically diverse seventh grade students residing in a large southwestern city. This article describes development of the keepin' it R.E.A.L. curriculum, focusing on the methods used to ensure cultural grounding. The article also reviews literature on cultural approaches in prevention, presents a theoretical framework, summarizes key outcomes of the curriculum evaluation, and concludes with recommendations for the development of prevention programs for ethnically diverse youth.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Health(social science)
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Psychiatry and Mental health