Mantente REAL Guatemala Pilot Test

Location(s): Latin America, Guatemala, Guatemala City
Target Population: 
6th-grade middle school students in Guatemala City
Project Team: 

Flavio F. Marsiglia, PhD

Project Status: 
GCAHR International Initiatives

This project is a collaboration between GCAHR and U Yum Cap, ONG, a Guatemala City non-profit aimed at implementing prevention programs that promote the health of Guatemalan youth. 

Primary Health Outcome

substance use behaviors, attitudes, and exposure


Mantente REAL, a Spanish language version of keepin’ it REAL, was tested with 676 middle school students attending 12 schools in Guatemala City and its suburbs, many located in the most dangerous neighborhoods. With no other substance use prevention programming in place, implementers wanted to test whether this US-developed prevention curriculum resonated with Guatemalan youth and, if not, what adaptations to the curriculum should be made in order to resonate with this population. A small efficacy trial was conducted with schools randomized to intervention and control/comparison conditions.

Key Findings

Students participating in the Mantente REAL (keepin’ it REAL) program reported pretest-to-posttest changes in desirable directions on substance use behaviors, attitudinal antecedents of substance use, and acquisition of drug resistance skills. The comparison group generally changed in undesirable directions. The Mantente REAL participants, relative to the comparison group, reported less cigarette and marijuana use, less positive drug use expectancies, and greater use of drug resistance skills. Intervention effect sizes were between .2 and .3.