Two approaches to tailoring treatment for cultural minority adolescents

Sarah W. Feldstein Ewing, Alisha M. Wray, Hilary K. Mead, Sue K. Adams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


At this time, compared with mainstream (Caucasian) youth, cultural minority adolescents experience more severe substance-related consequences and are less likely to receive treatment. Although several empirically supported interventions (ESIs), such as motivational interviewing (MI), have been evaluated with mainstream adolescents, fewer published studies have investigated the fit and efficacy of these interventions with cultural minority adolescents. In addition, many empirical evaluations of ESIs have not explicitly attended to issues of culture, race, and socioeconomic background in their analyses. As a result, there is some question about the external validity of ESIs, particularly in disadvantaged cultural minority populations. This review seeks to take a step toward filling this gap, by addressing how to improve the fit and efficacy of ESIs like MI with cultural minority youth. Specifically, this review presents the existing literature on MI with cultural minority groups (adult and adolescent), proposes two approaches for evaluating and adapting this (or other) behavioral interventions, and elucidates the rationale, strengths, and potential liabilities of each tailoring approach.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)190-203
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Substance Abuse Treatment
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescents
  • Cultural minority
  • Substance abuse
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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