Short-Term Effects on Family Communication and Adolescent Conduct Problems: Familias Unidas in Ecuador
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Familias Unidas, a Hispanic/Latino-specific, parent-centered intervention, found to be efficacious in improving family functioning and reducing externalizing behaviors among youth in the USA, was recently adapted and tested for use in Ecuador. This study examined the short-term efficacy of Familias Unidas in Ecuador on parent-adolescent communication, parental monitoring of peers, and youth conduct problems. Two hundred thirty-nine youths (ages 12–14 years) and their primary care givers were randomized to either Familias Unidas or Community Practice and assessed pre- and post-intervention. There was a significant difference between Familias Unidas and Community Practice in conduct problems at 3 months (standardized β = −.101, p = .001, effect size = .262). A significant indirect intervention effect was also detected, indicating that Familias Unidas predicted conduct problems at 3 months through parent-adolescent communication at 3 months (standardized β = −.036, p = .016, CI 95% [−.066, −.007], effect size = .265). Familias Unidas was efficacious in reducing conduct problems through improved parent-adolescent communication, relative to Community Practice. Future assessments will determine whether Familias Unidas also has an impact on substance use and sexual risk behaviors at later time points, as demonstrated in past Familias Unidas trials. The short-term effects of the intervention, family engagement, and facilitator skill in the Ecuadorian adaptation of Familias Unidas are promising. This study implies that an intervention developed for Hispanics/Latinos in the USA and culturally adapted and implemented for use by Hispanics/Latinos in a Latin American country can be efficacious in improving family functioning and reducing youth conduct problems. Trial registration: MSP-DIS-2015-0055-0, Ministry of Public Health (MSP), Ecuador
KeywordsHispanic adolescents Conduct problems Family communication Family-based intervention Cultural adaptation
Compliance with Ethical Standards
This study was funded by the UCSG.
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare they have no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed in this study involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the Ethical Committee of the General Hospital Luis Vernaza, the Ministry of Public Health in Ecuador, the University of Miami Institutional Review Board and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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