Prevention Science

, Volume 15, Issue 5, pp 694–704 | Cite as

Short-Term Effects on Substance Use of the Keepin’ It REAL Pilot Prevention Program: Linguistically Adapted for Youth in Jalisco, Mexico

  • Flavio F. Marsiglia
  • Jaime M. BoothEmail author
  • Stephanie L. Ayers
  • Bertha L. Nuño-Gutierrez
  • Stephen Kulis
  • Steven Hoffman


This article presents the short-term effects of a pilot study of keepin’it REAL (Manténte REAL) conducted in central Mexico by a binational team of investigators. This middle school-based model program for preventing substance use was adapted for Mexico linguistically but not culturally. Two Guadalajara public middle schools were recruited and randomly assigned to either implement the prevention program or serve as a control site. The program was implemented in the treatment site by the students’ regular teachers, who were trained by the research team. Seventh graders in ten classrooms in the treatment and control schools (N = 432) completed a pretest and posttest survey in Spanish similar to the survey utilized in the original efficacy trial of keepin’it REAL in the US. T-tests and OLS regressions were conducted to determine the effects of the intervention on substance use outcomes. Differences between treatment and control groups in frequency of use of alcohol and tobacco, the two substances of choice in this sample, were significant and in the desired direction. Differences in amount of use were also in the preferred direction but were not significant for alcohol and only marginally significant for tobacco. When the sample was split by gender, statistically significant treatment effects remained for females but were not observed among males. Effects of the linguistically adapted version of keepin’it REAL appears to be driven by the change in female use; however, the difference in male and female outcomes was not statistically significant. Implications for cultural adaptation and prevention in Mexico are discussed from a communication competency perspective. The promising results of the pilot study suggest that the linguistic adaptation was effective, but that a comprehensive cultural adaptation of keepin’it REAL in partnership with Mexican investigators and communities may be warranted.


Substance use prevention Randomized control trial Mexico Adolescents 



Data collection for this study was made possible through the Global Health Initiative of the Southwest Interdisciplinary Research Center (SIRC) funded by Arizona State University. Data analysis and manuscript development were supported by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) of the National Institutes of Health (Grant P20MD002316-05, to Flavio F. Marsiglia, principal investigator). The content of this article is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of Arizona State University, the NIMHD or the National Institutes of Health.


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Copyright information

© Society for Prevention Research 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Flavio F. Marsiglia
    • 1
  • Jaime M. Booth
    • 1
    Email author
  • Stephanie L. Ayers
    • 2
  • Bertha L. Nuño-Gutierrez
    • 3
  • Stephen Kulis
    • 4
  • Steven Hoffman
    • 5
  1. 1.School of Social Work, Southwest Interdisciplinary Research CenterArizona State UniversityPhoenixUSA
  2. 2.Southwest Interdisciplinary Research CenterArizona State UniversityPhoenixUSA
  3. 3.University of Guadalajara and Mexican Social Security InstituteGuadalajaraMexico
  4. 4.Southwest Interdisciplinary Research Center, School of Social and Family DynamicsArizona State UniversityTempeUSA
  5. 5.School of Social WorkUniversity of Texas at San AntonioSan AntonioUSA

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