Keepin’ It REAL—Mantente REAL in Mexico: a Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial of a Culturally Adapted Substance Use Prevention Curriculum for Early Adolescents

Stephen S. Kulis, Flavio F. Marsiglia, Maria Elena Medina-Mora, Bertha L. Nuño-Gutiérrez, Maria Dolores Corona, Stephanie L. Ayers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study assesses the efficacy of a version of the keepin’ it REAL (kiREAL) substance use prevention curriculum for middle school students that was culturally adapted for Mexico, renamed Mantente REAL (MREAL), and tested in a cluster randomized controlled trial in Mexico’s three largest cities. Student participants were in 7th grade in public middle schools (N = 5523, 49% female, mean age = 11.9). A representative sample of 12 schools from each city, stratified by whether they held morning or afternoon sessions, was randomized to three conditions: culturally adapted MREAL, original kiREAL translated into Spanish, or a treatment-as-usual control group. Regular classroom teachers were trained to deliver the adapted MREAL or the kiREAL manualized curricula. Students with active parental consent completed pretest and post-test questionnaires, 7–8 months apart, at the beginning and end of the 2017–2018 academic year. We assessed the MREAL intervention, relative to kiREAL and controls, with general linear models adjusted for baseline, attrition (24%), non-normal distributions, stratification by city, and school-level clustering. Among students already using the substance more often at pretest, MREAL students had relatively more desirable outcomes, compared to kiREAL and/or to controls, in recent use of alcohol, cigarettes, “hard drugs,” heavy episodic drinking, and intoxication. MREAL students reported relatively less violence victimization and perpetration of bullying and relatively more use of three of the intervention’s REAL drug resistance strategies (Explain, Avoid, Leave). The adapted version of kiREAL for Mexico showed numerous desired outcomes in areas deliberately targeted in the cultural adaptation. Full protocol can be accessed through Clinical Trials.gov. ID: NCT03233386, “‘Keepin’ It REAL in Mexico: An adaptation and multisite RCT”

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPrevention Science
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • Cultural adaptation
  • Mexico
  • Prevention
  • Substance use
  • Youth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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