Preventing Children’s Aggression in Immigrant Latino Families: A Mixed Methods Evaluation of the Families and Schools Together Program

Abstract

The effectiveness of the evidence based program, Families and Schools Together (FAST), was examined in two inter-related studies with immigrant Latino (Mexican) families in the U.S. In Study 1, we reported findings from pre-test, 3-month post-test, and 12-month follow-up surveys of parents and children participating in the FAST program. Families were selected from communities that were randomly assigned to either intervention or control groups. A total of 282 parents (263 mothers and 19 fathers) participated in either the intervention (140 parents) or control (142 parents) condition over the course of 3 years. Each of the parents had a participating focal child; thus, 282 children (144 females and 138 males; average age = 9.5 years) participated in the study. A primary focus of the research was to determine whether participation in FAST led to reductions in children’s aggression. Using linear growth models, no differences were noted on aggression between intervention and control groups, although intervention children did show significant improvements in social problem-solving skills and perceptions of collective efficacy. In Study 2, we conducted two focus groups with ten FAST participants to explore whether other unmeasured outcomes were noted and to understand better the mechanisms and impact of FAST. All of the parents in the focus groups reported that FAST had helped them better relate to and communicate with their children, and that the greatest effect was on the behavior of their older children. Results are discussed in terms of cultural fit of the FAST program for immigrant Latino families and future directions.

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Acknowledgments

This research was supported by a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Grant #5U49CE000734). We would like to thank Melinda Leidy and Pam Diamond for their assistance with data entry and data analyses. All authors agree that this manuscript has not been published previously and is not under consideration for publication elsewhere. This manuscript has been seen and reviewed by all authors and all authors have contributed to this manuscript in a meaningful way.

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Correspondence to Lyndee Knox.

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Knox, L., Guerra, N.G., Williams, K.R. et al. Preventing Children’s Aggression in Immigrant Latino Families: A Mixed Methods Evaluation of the Families and Schools Together Program. Am J Community Psychol 48, 65–76 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10464-010-9411-0

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Keywords

  • Childhood aggression
  • Prevention
  • Families
  • Immigrant Latino