Methods: Ho‘ouna Pono is a 9-lesson, video-enhanced curriculum developed from three multi-phasic, NIDA-funded studies. Thirteen middle, intermediate, or multi-level public schools participated in the study, and were randomly assigned to intervention or wait-listed control conditions. Four hundred and eighty six youth participated in the study. A longitudinal dynamic wait-listed control group design (Brown, Wyman, Guo, & Pena, 2006) was utilized to examine intervention effects. Participating physical education and/or health teachers were trained in the implementation of the curriculum in the classroom through a credit-granting professional development course. Implementation fidelity was monitored virtually through distance learning methods and through a comprehensive portfolio assignment.
Results: Immediate (post-test) and short-term (3-month) follow-up findings illustrated promising findings consistent with past Ho‘ouna Pono pilot evaluation research. Compared with youth in the control schools, baseline adjusted linear models indicated that youth in the intervention schools thought significantly more about the consequences resulting from accepting drugs, such as negative reactions from cousins, at post-test and 3-month follow-up. Further, compared to control youth, intervention youth used non-confrontational drug resistance strategies (e.g., explaining reasons for refusing drug offers, redirecting the conversation away from drug use) more frequently at post-test and 3-month follow-up. The two-year findings were largely consistent with the pilot and one-year findings. For example, similar to the pilot findings, there were notable positive changes in fighting behavior connected with exposure to the intervention.
Conclusions: This presentation builds upon past pilot research that illustrated similar findings, and re-affirms the value of prevention curricula that is aligned with Native Hawaiian cultural values and beliefs. More broadly, it demonstrates the importance of using community-based participatory research principles and practices in the development of prevention curricula for rural, indigenous, and/or Pacific Islander youth.