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The Relationship Between Neighborhood Characteristics and Recruitment into Adolescent Family-Based Substance Use Prevention Programs


Youth in disadvantaged neighborhoods are at risk for poor health outcomes. Characteristics of these neighborhoods may translate into intensified risk due to barriers utilizing preventive care such as substance use prevention programs. While family-level risks affect recruitment into prevention programs, few studies have addressed the influence of neighborhood risks. This study consists of 744 families with an 11- to 12-year-old child recruited for a family-based substance use prevention program. Using US Census data, logistic regressions showed neighborhoods were related to recruitment, beyond individual characteristics. Greater neighborhood unemployment was related to decreased agreement to participate in the study and lower rates of high school graduation were related to lower levels of actual enrolment. Conversely, higher rates of single-female-headed households were related to increased agreement. Recruitment procedures may need to recognize the variety of barriers and enabling forces within the neighborhood in developing different strategies for the recruitment of youth and their families.

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Thanks are extended to Michael Todd and Joel Grube for their statistical guidance. Research for and preparation of this manuscript were supported by NIAAA “Adolescent Family-Based Alcohol Prevention” R01-AA015323-01, 2005–2010, Brenda A. Miller, P.I., and NIAAA “Prevention Science Research Training Program Grant” T32 AA014125, 2004–2009, Genevieve Ames, P.I. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism or the National Institutes of Health.

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Correspondence to Hilary F. Byrnes PhD.

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Byrnes, H.F., Miller, B.A., Aalborg, A.E. et al. The Relationship Between Neighborhood Characteristics and Recruitment into Adolescent Family-Based Substance Use Prevention Programs. J Behav Health Serv Res 39, 174–189 (2012).

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  • Block Group
  • Neighborhood Characteristic
  • Child Gender
  • Adolescent Substance
  • Percentage Point Increase