The Impact of a Substance Use Prevention Program on the Health Literacy of Youth in Guatemala City


health literacy, Youth in Guatemala, prevention program


Low health literacy is a major public health concern with serious human and economic implications. Unfortunately, in developing countries little is known about health literacy, and there are often no educational programs to promote it. This report explores the influence of an already existing substance use intervention on the health literacy of youth living in Guatemala City. T-test results indicated that students who went through the substance use prevention program had significantly higher scores on the health literacy assessment than their peers. Likewise, participation in the program significantly predicted differences in health literacy, even when accounting for academic performance and parent education. These findings are of particular importance to resource-poor countries. If health education and prevention programs that are already being utilized are found to have a positive impact on health literacy, policy makers could potentially address two significant public health issues with a single evidence-based program.

Original Publication Citation

Hoffman, S., & Marsiglia, F. F. (2016). The impact of a substance use prevention program on the health literacy of youth in Guatemala City. International Journal of Social Science Research, 4(2), 1-7.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL


International Journal of Social Science




Family, Home, and Social Sciences


Social Work

University Standing at Time of Publication

Assistant Professor