Programa Shortstop: A Culturally Focused Juvenile Intervention for Hispanic Youth

  • Cervantes R
  • Ruan K
  • Dueñas N
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Abstract

Culturally sensitive juvenile delinquency and substance abuse interventions are relatively limited and unavailable to many first-time Hispanic juvenile offenders. The purpose of this study was to test the effectiveness of a culturally focused juvenile and substance abuse intervention program for first time Hispanic youth offenders. The intent of the program was to decrease juvenile recidivism and increase substance abuse resistance. Programa Shortstop is a family based intervention designed for Hispanic youth ages 9-17. The intervention was delivered to 352 youth and at least one parent/caregiver over the 5-year study period. For intervention youth, the results of the recidivism study (n = 321) indicated that 89% of youth participating in Programa Shortstop between 1995 to 1997 were not rearrested within one year of completing Programa Shortstop. Additionally, statistical paired t-test analysis found that the intervention model had a positive effect on legal knowledge and school related factors associated with substance abuse and delinquency. Parent participants demonstrated significant increases in knowledge related to substance abuse and the legal system.

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Authors

  • Richard C. Cervantes

  • Karen Ruan

  • Norma Dueñas

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