FIU-RCMI Graduate Assistant, María Eugenia Contreras Pérez, Announced Among the Winners of the Stempel College Research Day 2024

by | Feb 22, 2024 | RCMI News

María Eugenia Contreras Pérez, M.S., FIU-RCMI Graduate Assistant and Ph.D. student in Social Welfare, recently presented at the Stempel College Research Day 2024, where numerous fellow doctoral students had the opportunity to present engaging research presentations as part of a competition. Contreras Pérez was announced as one of the winners among her fellow doctoral students. Her oral presentation, Outcomes of a Brief Motivational Intervention for Heavy Alcohol Use in Racial or Ethnic Minority Compared to White Emerging Adults, showcased her exceptional capabilities in alcohol use research.

The presentation focused on her first dissertation paper, which investigated whether the effectiveness of a Brief Motivational Intervention (BMI) differed between White and racial and ethnically diverse young adults who do not attend a four-year college. Using secondary data from a randomized controlled trial, the study analyzed four models, including primary (heavy drinking and consequences associated with alcohol use) and secondary (motivation and behavioral strategies to change alcohol use) treatment outcomes. 

Results indicated that race or ethnicity did not influence treatment outcomes, though Hispanic/Latine and Black participants showed larger effect sizes across all outcome measures. Overall, the study suggests similar outcomes for both White and racial and ethnically diverse participants engaging in heavy drinking, possibly due to the client-centered nature of the intervention. The discussion highlights Motivational Interviewing’s client-centered approach as potentially beneficial even without intentionally incorporating cultural factors into treatment. The findings of this study are preliminary and require further exploration.

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