New York, New York 10027

  • Sexual Behavior


The purpose of this study is to develop and evaluate the effectiveness of a parent-based intervention that can be implemented in conjunction with existing school-based programs designed to prevent or reduce sexual risk behavior or to prevent or reduce tobacco use in young adolescents. The parent programs are expected to have effects on adolescent behavior over and above the effects of the school-based programs.

Study summary:

Although parent-based programs have shown promise in reducing adolescent risk behavior, few have been rigorously evaluated and shown to be effective. Recruitment and retention of parents into lengthy workshops has been a problem and few programs have been developed specifically for inner-city, minority populations who are at greatest risk for a number of adverse health outcomes. Linking Lives was designed to address these issues. Parent Intervention. The primary feature of the parent component is a written manual distributed in modules to mothers that teaches them how to communicate effectively with their children about sex or tobacco risk behaviors and how to improve their relationships with their children. This is accompanied by two face-to-face intervention sessions for mothers, during which they are given the intervention materials and an opportunity to participate in role playing activities with other parents, and by regular contact by trained parent volunteers to determine if the parent has implemented the manual contents. Mothers and their adolescents attend Linking Lives events together at the school in the evenings and on weekends during which time adolescents attend their own intervention sessions at the same time mothers are attending theirs (mothers in the control condition participate in sessions on helping their children choose a high school). Sample. Nine middle schools in the Bronx, New York and two schools in the Harlem neighborhood of New York are participating in the study. The schools are located in communities that are financially disadvantaged. Approximately 70% of the students in the schools are Latino and 30% are African American. A total of 4,750 adolescents and their mothers will participate in the study, 1,900 for tobacco and 2,850 for sexual risk reduction. Students are randomly sampled and their parent is contacted regarding family participation in the study. Evaluation. Based on input from elicitation studies, focus groups with adolescents and mothers, a pre-intervention survey of 668 mother-adolescent pairs, a psychometric study for both English- and Spanish-language instruments, feedback from community and school leaders, and a scientific panel of experts, the instruments, manuals and intervention protocol have been developed. All measures and intervention materials have been developed in English and in Spanish. The evaluation includes a baseline, 3-month post-test and a 15-month delayed post-test assessment of adolescents and mothers. For tobacco, within schools, students will be randomly assigned to an experimental group (school-based curriculum plus parent component) or a control group (school-based curriculum only). For sexual risk reduction, students will be randomly assigned to the combined experimental condition (school-based curriculum plus parent component), a parent-only experimental condition (parent component is distributed to mothers, but no school component is delivered) or a control group (school-based curriculum only).


Inclusion Criteria: - African American or Latino - 6th or 7th grade students - Residential mothers or primary female caregivers Exclusion Criteria: - 8th grade students - Fathers or primary male caregivers



Primary Contact:

Principal Investigator
Vincent Guilamo-Ramos, PhD
Columbia University

Backup Contact:


Location Contact:

New York, New York 10027
United States

There is no listed contact information for this specific location.

Site Status: N/A

Data Source:

Date Processed: April 03, 2020

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