Factors associated with alcohol use among Hispanic adolescent females participating in an alcohol-targeted text messaging intervention

- Factors associated with alcohol us among minority female adolescents receiving preventive text messaging for underage drinkingAbstract: Recent reports on alcohol use among adolescents have shown elevated prevalence of lifetime (50.0%), past year (44.3%) and pastmonth (25.9%) use among high school students. Rates are especially high among Hispanic youths as compared to other racial/ethnic groups. This emphasizes the need for developmentally appropriate and culturally sensitive alcohol use interventions that can reach a large number of teens. Given the popularity of texting (i.e., shortmessaging service, SMS) among teenagers in the U.S. (88.0%of teen cell phone owners use SMS) and its advantages such as low cost, easy standardization, automation of health message delivery, and the ability to include multiple recipients concurrently, SMS is a promising technology for a developmentally appropriate intervention method for teens. Hence, we are currently conducting an RCT to examine the effectiveness of alcohol-targeted text messaging among minority youths. Participants are being recruited from a large, urban adolescent medicine setting in South Florida. After the baseline intake survey is completed, each participant is randomly assigned to either intervention (i.e. twice weekly alcohol related prevention SMS’s for 16 weeks) or control (assessment-only) groups. Follow-up assessments are conducted for all participants at post-intervention and 1-month post-intervention respectively. For the present study, baseline data were examined in regard to the prevalence and risk factors associated with alcohol use among participants. We used SPSS (version 20.0) to analyze the data on 118 participants. The sample was 100 percent female, predominantly Hispanic (91.5%) and between 12 and 18 years old (M=15.75, SD=1.47). Regarding drinking behavior, 33.1% reported lifetime alcohol use and 18.6%reported past month use. Chi-square test of goodness-of-fit was significant for past month alcohol use and drinking intentions (v2(10)=28.13, p<0.01), perceived alcohol availability (v2(10)=24.14, p<0.01), physical intimacy (v2(5)=11.31, p<0.05) and CRAFT score (v2(25)=114.32, p<0.01). Our findings highlight key factors to be targeted when developing alcohol-related interventions with this at-risk underserved population. Follow-up data pertaining to participants’ response to the alcohol prevention SMS protocol over time will be also presented.

Sawant, M.,Hospital, M.M., Wagner, E.F., Morris, S.L. & Siqueira, L.M. (2014). Factors associated with alcohol use among Hispanic adolescent females participating in an alcohol-targeted text messaging intervention. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. Supplement: 38.