The purpose of this study is to test the efficacy of a family-based psychosocial
intervention to prevent school disengagement and reduce the incidence of depression, conduct
disorders, and school dropout for Mexican American adolescents.
Mexican American adolescents are at an increased risk for interrelated problems of poor
mental health and school dropout. Unfortunately, there is a lack of interventions
specifically designed to address this risk. This study will evaluate a preventive
intervention for low-income Mexican American adolescents.
Participants are randomly assigned to either a multi-component intervention called the
Bridges to High School Program or a Low Dose Workshop. The 11-week multi-component
intervention takes place during the fall semester of seventh grade and consists of an
adolescent group, a parenting group, a combined (parent-adolescent) family group, and a
school liaison. This intervention focuses on adolescent coping skills, parenting practices,
family cohesion, and parental support for education. The Low-Dose Workshop consists of a
3-hour workshop in which adolescents and parents are given information and resources to
facilitate school engagement. Participants are assessed prior to and immediately following
the intervention and again in eighth and ninth grade. Academic and mental health outcomes
are measured with questionnaire-based interviews given to caregivers and adolescents.
Teachers are asked to complete questionnaires; archival school data are also collected.
Diagnostic interviews are conducted at the ninth grade assessment.
- Mexican American adolescent with at least one primary caregiver
- Enrolled in seventh grade in one of four inner-city schools
- Adolescent and participating caregivers must be able to receive intervention in the
same language (English or Spanish)
- High risk for suicide