Danya Institute Inc.

TTC Center Newsletter Articles


January 2019

Implementing Culturally Competent Prevention Programs for African Americans

With rates of substance use and co-occurring conditions among African Americans near or above the national averages [SAMHSA], there is a recognized need for additional, targeted prevention efforts. This need is especially urgent considering the high rate of unmet treatment needs that have historically faced African Americans. However, as with all minority populations and vulnerable groups, it is vital that these prevention efforts be tailored to the specific needs of African Americans and be culturally appropriate. While African Americans share many risks and protective factors for substance use with other populations, such as parental substance use or religiosity, respectively, many unique factors, such as Afro-ethnic self-conceptualization and pride are also highly relevant.

With these considerations in mind, SAMHSA has identified evidence-based prevention programs and strategies tailored to or effective for African Americans [SAMHSA] that can be implemented at the various levels of the socio-ecological model of prevention: At the Individual level, these programs include:  the Adolescent Decision-Making for the Positive Youth Development Collaborative, the Big Brothers/Big Sisters Mentoring Program, Coping Power, and the Residential Student Assistance Program. At the Relationship level: Brief Strategic Family Therapy, Adults in the Making, Early Risers: Skills for Success, Family Connections, Multidimensional Family Therapy, Schools and Families Educating Children, Strong African American Families, and Start Taking Alcohol Risks Seriously (STARS) for Families. And at the Community level: HighScope Curriculum, PAX Good Behavior Game, Positive Action, Classroom Consultation for Early Childhood Educators Program, Fast Track, and Project SUCCESS. More information and resources from SAMHSA can be found here.