Family Listening/Circle Program


Since 2005, the Family Listening/Circle Program (FL/CP), an intergenerational (child/ parent/elder) family prevention program, has been co-designed and put into practice by a partnership between the Center for Participatory Research and three New Mexico tribes, with tribal community members as creators and facilitators of the program. Historical timelines showing community history and evolution of the partnership are available through clicking on the program logos below.

Communties Logos

Initially funded by the Native American Research Centers for Health (NARCH III with the Pueblo of Jemez and the Ramah Band of Navajos (2005-2009); and NARCH V with the Mescalero Apache Nation (2009-2014), all three communities had the opportunity to co-develop their curriculum and pilot test their individual program with families. An evaluation of pilots found child participants increased their cultural identity and, coping, and decreased measures of anxiety and depression, risk factors for later substance abuse. Adult participants increased their awareness about the importance of native language, culture, health, family communication and increased coping and control.

In April 2014, the Center for Participatory Research received a five-year R01 grant from the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) for the three communities to join forces to rigorously test the FL/CP program as a culturally-centered and evidence-based prevention program. Co-principal investigators are Dr. Nina Wallerstein (School of Medicine-Public Health Program) and Dr. Lorenda Belone (College of Education-Health Education)

The data and results will be provided back to each Tribal Research Team and community for their own use and for their own publication as approved by their tribal authorities. In addition to providing information back to each community, the grant will allow de-identified data to be aggregated to test the overall effectiveness of the Family Circle/Family Listening Program.

Our intention is to illustrate how an intervention can integrate shared “academic evidence-based components” with “cultural knowledge and practice-based evidence,” specific to each community. The research draws from implementation and CBPR science, that culture and community contexts are important for interventions to be effective and for community ownership and sustainability.

UNM- CPR is committed to CBPR partnerships with all three communities as we continue to strengthen research capacity among tribal partners for future prevention research and programs; and to make a difference in substance abuse prevention research design nationally.


  • Community-Based Participatory Research: Strategies for Reducing Health Disparities(2011). Academy Health Webinar with; Nina Wallerstein, DrPH., Lorenda Belone, PhD, MPH, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Center for Health Policy at the University of New Mexico; and Kevin R. Shendo, Director, Pueblo of Jemez Department of Education.
  • Belone, L., Tosa, J., Shendo, K., Toya,


    A., Straits, K., Tafoya, G., Rae, R., Noyes, E., Bird, D., Wallerstein, N. (in press) Community based participatory research principles and strategies for co-creating culturally-centered interventions with Native communities: A partnership between the University of New Mexico and the Pueblo of Jemez with implications for other ethno-cultural communities. In N. Zane, F. Leong & G. Bernal (Eds.), Culturally Informed Evidence Based practices.
  • Belone, L., Oetzel, J. G., Wallerstein, Tafoya, G., Rae, R., Rafelito, A., et al. Using participatory research to address substance use in an American Indian community. In L. R. Frey & K. Carragge (Eds.), Communication Activism, 6th e., Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press,  2012, 403-434.