Assessing the Fit of Motivational Interviewing by Cultures With Adolescents


Hispanic adolescents experience more severe alcohol-related consequences due to their alcohol abuse and yet significantly fewer Hispanic adolescents receive alcohol treatment, particularly among justice-involved youth. Despite the level of research that has been conducted on motivational interviewing (MI) with mainstream samples, no published studies have investigated the efficacy of this brief, individual intervention with Hispanic adolescents. The overarching objective of this application is to evaluate the efficacy of a brief individual intervention (MI) for problem drinking behaviors with a sample of justice-involved Hispanic and Caucasian adolescents to determine if this intervention is differentially effective between Hispanic and Caucasian adolescents. Specifically, the first aim is to determine whether an MI intervention targeting alcohol abuse is effective at reducing alcohol use and related risk behavior in a sample of adolescent alcohol abusers. The second aim is to examine whether the effects of MI on problem drinking outcomes (e.g., alcohol problems, quantity of drinking, frequency of binging) are different between Hispanic versus Caucasian adolescents. Because it is important to determine the mechanisms that mediate the effects of MI and determine whether these mechanisms differ between Caucasian and Hispanic adolescents, the third aim is to examine whether group (Hispanic vs. Caucasian) moderates the mediational linkages in the overall model using a cross-groups approach to moderated mediation. To accomplish these aims, 453 Caucasian and Hispanic justice-involved alcohol abusing adolescents (ages 14-17) will be randomized to either two 60 minute MI interventions (one at baseline and a second, one week later) or an education condition. All adolescents will receive behavioral assessments at baseline, 3, 6 and 12 months. The proposed research is expected to take a significant step towards reducing current racial/ethnic health disparities in alcohol treatment for Hispanic adolescents.

Full Title of Study: “AMICA: Assessing the Fit of Motivational Interviewing by Cultures With Adolescents”

Study Type

  • Study Type: Interventional
  • Study Design
    • Allocation: Randomized
    • Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
    • Primary Purpose: Prevention
    • Masking: Single (Participant)
  • Study Primary Completion Date: July 2015


  • Behavioral: Motivational Interviewing
  • Other: Education

Arms, Groups and Cohorts

  • Other: Brief Intervention
    • Motivational Interviewing (MI)
  • Other: Standard Intervention
    • Education

Clinical Trial Outcome Measures

Primary Measures

  • Frequency of alcohol use
    • Time Frame: Change from baseline in frequency of alcohol use at 3 , 6 , & 12 month follow-up

Secondary Measures

  • Quantity of alcohol use
    • Time Frame: Change from baseline in quantity of alcohol use at 3 , 6 , & 12 month follow-up

Participating in This Clinical Trial

Inclusion Criteria

  • Age 13 – 18 – Provision of informed assent (or self-consent if age 18) – Parent/ guardian consent if under age 18 – Regular substance use (use at least 1 per month for past 6 months) Exclusion Criteria:

  • active psychosis – mental retardation – neurodevelopmental disorder – severe medical illness

Gender Eligibility: All

Minimum Age: 13 Years

Maximum Age: 18 Years

Are Healthy Volunteers Accepted: No

Investigator Details

  • Lead Sponsor
    • University of New Mexico
  • Collaborator
    • National Institutes of Health (NIH)
  • Provider of Information About this Clinical Study
    • Principal Investigator: Sarah W. Feldstein Ewing, Ph.D., Assistant Professor – University of New Mexico
  • Overall Official(s)
    • Sarah W. Feldstein Ewing, Ph. D., Principal Investigator, Assistant Professor UNM

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