Researchers from the Prevention Research Center of the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, the Southern California Tribal Health Clinic, and the Scripps Research Institute joined to evaluate underage drinking prevention efforts for American Indian youths on rural California reservations.
The evaluation found that high proportions of the Tribal communities took action to reduce underage drinking as a result of these efforts.
Community efforts to raise awareness about the harms from underage drinking included providing youths, parents, Tribal leaders, and health clinic professionals with informational materials, presentations, and interactive awareness sessions.
Then, the research team administered surveys to adult and teens to evaluate the effectiveness of the efforts.
Results showed that:
- 93% of adults and 96% of youths reported awareness of the community intervention efforts,
- 88% percent of adults and 71% of youths reported a positive effect of the program,
- 84% of adults and 63% of youth report deciding to take action to reduce teen drinking in their community as a result of community efforts.
Study coauthor Daniel J. Calac, MD (Southern California Tribal Health Clinic) said, “This study is useful to Tribal leaders as well as to clinic practitioners. It provides much-needed feedback on which modes of underage drinking prevention help to inspire action, by both youth and by their older family members.”
Study coauthor Roland S. Moore, PhD (PIRE) stated: “Our findings are particularly important for American Indian communities because Tribes place a high value on the well-being of their children, which can be threatened by alcohol involvement. Developing culturally relevant and effective interventions to reduce youth drinking can make a difference.”
Study coauthor Juliet P. Lee, PhD (PIRE) added, it’s sometimes hard to know which pieces of community-based interventions are having an effect. Our previous report showed that the project had an overall positive impact; this study helps understand how that worked.”
Source: Ehlers, Cindy L., Jennifer R. Geisler, Juan A. Luna, David A. Gilder, Daniel Calac, Juliet P. Lee, and Roland S. Moore. “Community Awareness of Outreach Efforts to Reduce Underage Drinking on California Indian Reservations.” American Indian and Alaska Native mental health research (Online) 27, no. 1 (2020): 21-41. https://coloradosph.cuanschutz.edu/docs/librariesprovider205/journal_files/vol27/27_1_2020_21_ehlers.pdf?sfvrsn=40fee0b9_2
This research was supported by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (and Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research) grants R01AA016479, R01AA10201, R56AA023755, and R01AA023755.