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OBJECTIVE: This study tested the effectiveness of two culturally appropriate substance abuse prevention intervention programs for African American girls. METHODS: Project Naja recruited 210 girls ages 10-12 from schools in a low-income ward in Washington, D.C., to participate in a 2.5- year, three-phase intervention to develop strong ethnic and gender identity. The Cultural Enhancement Project recruited sixth grade girls in Richmond, Virginia, for a 15-week curriculum. The author collected pre- and post-test data on cultural, drug, and sex measures. RESULTS: Project Naja participants in the intervention group scored significantly higher on Africentric values and racial identity than comparison group participants. They also had more positive concepts of their physical appearance. In the Cultural Enhancement Project, girls in the intervention group scored higher on the global African American identity scale. There was a trend toward significance in increased percentage of androgyny for girls in the intervention group. CONCLUSIONS: Prevention programs should include a component directed at strengthening ethnic identity and other protective factors (self-esteem, positive peer support, and skill-enhancement).