Delivering alcohol use intervention services in the school setting represents a key approach to engaging youth of all backgrounds, particularly underserved populations, in such programming. Relative progress has been made toward implementing culturally responsive services for youth; however, little is known about the role of ethnic composition on group processes purported to underlie mechanisms of change. We examined associations between ethnic group composition and therapeutic processes within a voluntary, school-based alcohol use intervention at seven schools across three cities (N groups = 353). Ethnic composition was characterized as: group ethnic diversity on a continuum, group ethnic homogeneity (i.e., where at least 66% of participants shared the same ethnicity), and comparing groups where one of the three largest ethnicities in the sample reached the majority (i.e., African-American vs. Hispanic vs. non-Hispanic white). Ratings on group processes were obtained from participants (satisfaction; belonging), facilitators (empathy; rapport), and coders (engagement; responsiveness). Mixed-effects models revealed that students in groups with African-American and Hispanic majorities reported a higher sense of satisfaction compared to groups with non-Hispanic white majorities. Facilitators endorsed expressing empathy more frequently with majority African-American and Hispanic groups than with non-Hispanic white groups. Study findings highlight the importance of considering different dimensions of ethnic composition when examining mechanisms of change in group intervention research.
Prevention Science – Springer Journals
Published: Dec 27, 2016
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