Family-centered Program Deters Substance Use, Conduct Problems, and Depressive Symptoms in Black Adolescents

Center for Family Research, University of Georgia, 1095 College Station Road, Athens, GA 30602-4527, USA.
PEDIATRICS (Impact Factor: 5.47). 12/2011; 129(1):108-15. DOI: 10.1542/peds.2011-0623
Source: PubMed


The present research addressed the following important question in pediatric medicine: Can participation in a new family-centered preventive intervention, the Strong African American Families-Teen (SAAF-T) program, deter conduct problems, substance use, substance use problems, and depressive symptoms among rural black adolescents across 22 months?
Data were collected from 502 black families in rural Georgia, assigned randomly to SAAF-T or an attention control condition. The prevention condition consisted of 5 consecutive meetings at community facilities with separate, concurrent sessions for caregivers and adolescents followed by a caregiver-adolescent session in which families practiced skills they learned in the separate sessions. Adolescents self-reported conduct problem behaviors, substance use, substance use problems, and depressive symptoms at ages 16 years (pretest) and 17 years 10 months (long-term assessment).
Adolescents who participated in SAAF-T evinced lower increases in conduct problem behavior, substance use, substance use problems, and depressive symptom frequencies than did adolescents in the attention control condition across the 22 months between pretest and long-term assessment.
This is the first study to demonstrate efficacy in a prevention program designed to deter conduct problems, substance use, substance use problems, and depressive symptoms among rural black adolescents. Because SAAF-T is a manualized, structured program, it can be easily disseminated to public health agencies, schools, churches, boys' and girls' clubs, and other community organizations.

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    • "We hypothesize that interventions designed to prevent substance use or problem behavior target common risk factors that may also reduce risk for adolescent depression. Several family-centered programs now have documented effects for adolescent depression, such as Iowa Strengthening Families Program (Trudeau et al., 2007), Preparing for the Drug Free Years (Mason et al., 2007), the Family Check-Up (Connell & Dishion, 2008), and the Strong African American Families–Teen Program (Brody et al., 2012). "
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    ABSTRACT: The Family Check Up (FCU) is a family-centered intervention for reducing children's problem behavior through improving parenting skills and family interactions. Although the FCU was designed to prevent conduct problems, we have also found the program to be effective in preventing escalating symptoms of depression in early adolescence. The current analyses examine heterogeneous patterns of response to treatment in an effort to identify factors associated with differential response to family intervention. We examined heterogeneity in trajectories of youth-reported depressive symptoms from grades 6 to 9, using a Latent Growth Mixture Modeling framework to identify patterns of treatment response and non-response. Three symptom trajectories were identified, including the following: (1) a large class exhibiting stable, low symptom levels, (2) a class exhibiting high and stable depressive symptoms, and (3) a class exhibiting low initial symptoms that increased over time. Significant intervention effects were identified only among the third class, as a preventive effect on depression from 7th to 9th grade for youth with low initial symptoms. No effect of intervention was observed in the other two classes. Comparisons of classes 2 and 3 suggested that class 3 members were more likely to be females with high baseline antisocial behavior, but lower initial levels of depression. The findings suggest the importance of exploring heterogeneity within a prevention design, as well as the importance of tailored approaches to the prevention of adolescent depression.
    Prevention Science 08/2015; DOI:10.1007/s11121-015-0586-3 · 2.63 Impact Factor
    • "The results of the present study showed that a school-based drug-prevention programme combined with parent–child activities had a positive impact on the increase in parental involvement in youth drug use prevention. Other universal family-based drug use prevention programmes (Brody et al., 2012; Kumpfer, Alvarado, & Whiteside, 2003) have demonstrated efficacy in enhancing parent–child relationships, improving children's resiliency, and preventing substance use behaviours, as well as deterring other behavioural problems. Several studies (Branstetter, Furman, & Cottrell, 2009; Pokhrel, Unger, Wagner, Ritt-Olson, & Sussman, 2008; Ryan, Jorm, & Lubman, 2010; Tobler & Komro, 2010) have shown that parental monitoring and communication has a protective effect on youth substance use. "
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    ABSTRACT: This study examined the effects of a school-based drug use prevention programme for middle-school students in Taiwan. The curriculum consisted of 10 lessons and 4 homework assignments involving parent–child activities. A quasi-experimental design was used. The study was conducted in an urban middle-school located in Taipei city and in a middle-school located in a rural area in Taoyuan county. A total of 327 middle-school students in the intervention group and 314 students in the comparison group successfully participated in the baseline (September 2011) and follow-up surveys (November 2011). A mixed-model approach was used to examine the effects. Multivariate analysis results indicated that the school-based drug-prevention programme increased the students' drug-related knowledge, drug-prevention attitudes, enhanced life skills, and improved perceived parental involvement in the prevention of drug use. The results of this study endorse the implementation of school-based drug use prevention programmes that include parent–child activities to enhance youth drug-prevention knowledge, attitudes, and life skills.
    Drugs: Education Prevention and Policy 08/2014; 22(1). DOI:10.3109/09687637.2014.952271 · 1.00 Impact Factor
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    • "These figures suggest that substantial numbers of parents know about their children's injection drug use. Parent involvement has been found to be beneficial in a variety of substance abuse treatment and prevention programs (Austin, Macgowan, & Wagner, 2005; Brody, et al., 2012; Foxcroft & Tsertsvadze, 2011; Kumpfer, Alvarado, & Whiteside, 2003; Miller, Aalborg, Byrnes, Bauman, & Spoth, 2012). There is a need to explore the potential extent and nature of parental participation in harm reduction strategies and the ensuing effect on YIDU risk reduction. "
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    ABSTRACT: Aims: This study examined parents’ responses to a family-based harm reduction intervention for young injection drug users (YIDUs). Methods: The intervention was comprised of group education sessions for parents, and three case-management sessions: for the parent only, YIDU only, and for parent and YIDU together. The design included a delayed intervention control group. Baseline interviews were conducted with 843 YIDUs; 41% (n=350) consented to have their parents contacted. About half of the parents (n=168) completed a baseline interview. Findings: Among the parents assigned to the first-stage intervention (n=94), 53% attended at least one intervention session, and 46% completed the entire intervention. Parents who supported the use of needle exchange at baseline and those who had a history of prescription drug misuse were more likely to attend the intervention. Parents who attended the intervention had a more positive attitude toward harm reduction for their child and were more likely to support the use of needle exchange at follow-up compared to baseline. Conclusions: Parents who had personal experience with substance misuse, and those with a more positive view of harm reduction were more likely to participate. Participation was associated with increased support for harm reduction efforts. There were no changes in reported service use or in parent-child relationship measures. Repository link:
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