Preventing Poor Mental Health and School Dropout of Mexican American Adolescents Following the Transition to Junior High School

Nancy Gonzales, Larry E. Dumka, Julianna Deardorff, Sara Jacobs Carter, Adam McCray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

31 Scopus citations


This study provided an initial test of the Bridges to High School Program, an intervention designed to prevent school disengagement and negative mental health trajectories during the transition to junior high school. The intervention included an adolescent coping skills intervention, a parenting skills intervention, and a family strengthening intervention. The program was evaluated by examining pretest to posttest changes on targeted mediators and outcomes with a sample of 22 predominantly Mexican American families. Adolescents reported increased use of active and distraction coping strategies, and decreased depressive symptoms for themselves from pretest to posttest. They also reported significant changes in their mothers' parenting skills, including increased monitoring and a decrease in inconsistent discipline. Maternal caregivers reported an increase in supportive parenting and a decrease in inconsistent discipline for themselves and fewer adolescent problem behaviors. Process evaluations confirmed the attractiveness and perceived helpfulness of the program.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)113-131
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Adolescent Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2004



  • Mexican Americans
  • Prevention
  • School transition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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