Engaging Mexican origin families in a school-based preventive intervention

Francesca R. Dillman Carpentier, Anne Mauricio, Nancy Gonzales, Roger E. Millsap, Connie M. Meza, Larry E. Dumka, Miguelina Germán, M. Toni Genalo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


This study describes a culturally sensitive approach to engage Mexican origin families in a school-based, family-focused preventive intervention trial. The approach was evaluated via assessing study enrollment and intervention program participation, as well as examining predictors of engagement at each stage. Incorporating traditional cultural values into all aspects of engagement resulted in participation rates higher than reported rates of minority-focused trials not emphasizing cultural sensitivity. Family preferred language (English or Spanish) or acculturation status predicted engagement at all levels, with less acculturated families participating at higher rates. Spanish-language families with less acculturated adolescents participated at higher rates than Spanish-language families with more acculturated adolescents. Other findings included two-way interactions between family language and the target child's familism values, family single- vs. dual-parent status, and number of hours the primary parent worked in predicting intervention participation. Editors' Strategic Implications: The authors present a promising approach-which requires replication-to engaging and retaining Mexican American families in a school-based prevention program. The research also highlights the importance of considering acculturation status when implementing and studying culturally tailored aspects of prevention models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)521-546
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Primary Prevention
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2007


  • Culture
  • Engagement
  • Intervention
  • Latino
  • Minority
  • Recruitment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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