Columbia University Researchers Seek Partners for Drug-Prevention Program Aimed at Hispanic Youths
May 12, 2014 /3BL Media/ - Researchers at the Columbia University School of Social Work in New York are seeking partners for a study to reduce drug and alcohol abuse among Hispanic youths.
The study, known as the Vamos Project, will randomly assign Hispanic participants ages 12- to 15-years to use an interactive cellphone app designed to strengthen their ability to confront the daily challenges that can lead to drug and alcohol abuse, such as peer pressure and bullying. Vamos is the first-ever such program designed for Hispanic youths and delivered by smartphones.
“Vamos has the potential to fill an unmet need among Hispanic youths,” said the study’s Primary Investigator, Dr. Steven Schinke. “Latino and Latina youths use smartphones more than any other group of young people. This technology is a largely untapped resource for delivering preventative programs.”
Dr. Schinke and his colleagues are seeking the assistance of non-profit agencies and other organizations that work with Hispanic youths to help enroll young people in the program, which is funded by the National Institutes of Health. Both program participants and recruitment partners will be paid for their time and assistance.
“NIH is investing in this program because they believe in the value of what we’re doing,” said Dr. Schinke. “Once the program is tested, it will be available nationwide to all Hispanic kids, families, and the organizations that serve them.”