An RCT of A Family-Centered Ojibwe Substance Abuse Prevention

The goal of this project is to implement a multisite randomized controlled trial (RCT) of a family-centered, fourth-generation prevention program for Anishinabe (Ojibwe) pre-adolescents aged 8-10 years that can be replicated cross-culturally by other American Indian/Alaska Native cultures to decrease substance use among early adolescents and improve mental health outcomes. This program, Bii-Zin-Da-De-Dah (BZDDD) (Listening to One Another), has been developed and adapted in partnership with multiple Anishinabe communities over a span of 13 years. The program was the first American Indian (AI) adaptation of the Iowa Strengthening Families Program (now called the Strengthening Families Program: For Parents and Youth 10-14). Now in its third generation, BZDDD has been adapted for Dakota, Lakota, Pueblo, and Navajo cultures and is currently the center piece of a Canadian national mental health promotion funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada where it is being culturally adapted for use by four Anishinabe First Nations (Ontario and Manitoba), eight Swampy Cree First Nations (Manitoba), Splatsin First Nation (British Columbia), and the two First Nations of Quebec and Labrador, one of which is French-speaking.

The four aims of the project are:

(1) complete a final adaptation of the 14-week BZDDD prevention program for U.S. Anishinabe reservations before implementing the RCT; (2) implement an RCT of the finalized BZDDD to assess its efficacy for delaying and/or preventing adolescent onset of alcohol and drug use to obtain rigorous empirical information regarding its effectiveness; (3) empirically address cultural challenges for RCTs involving AI cultures by evaluating contamination and informal diffusion in AI communities and extended families; and (4) work with our Anishinabe research partners to develop a plan to sustain the prevention program.


Principal Investigator: Leslie Whitbeck (University of Nebraska-Lincoln);

Subcontract Principal Investigator: Cleve Redmond

Funder: National Institute on Drug Abuse