Strengthening Families Program: For Parents and Youth 10-14 ...
mother and daughter


Named the number one prevention program out of 6,000 for long-term effects on substance use and misuse by Dr. David Foxcroft, Oxford Brookes University.


SFP 10-14 is Evidence Based

SFP 10-14 has been scientifically evaluated in a randomized, controlled test with families of sixth graders through Project Family at the Partnerships for Prevention Science Institute at Iowa State University.

This large-scale, experimental design trial involved random assignment of 33 Iowa public schools. Outcome evaluations entailed the use of multi-informant, multi-method measurement procedures at pretest, posttest, and follow-up data collections completed approximately one half, one and one half, two and one half, four, and six years after pretest.

Assessments included in-home videotapes of families in structured family interaction tasks and in-home interviews that included scales from standardized instruments and commonly used measures such as the National Survey of Delinquency and Drug Use. A total of 161 families participated in 21 intervention groups at eleven different schools, with group sizes ranging from three to fifteen families. Participation rates were high among pretested families. Ninety-four percent of attending pretested families were represented by a family member in five or more sessions.

What is Evidence Based?

"Evidence based" refers to scientifically tested programs such as the SFP 10-14. Programs that are evidence based meet rigid criteria to achieve the scientifically tested label. They were tested as part of a research study, which demonstrated that over time, youth who participated in the programs had better outcomes than those who did not.

In general, evidence based programs:

  • Are based on a clearly articulated and empirically-supported theory
  • Have a detailed description of the intervention and measurement design--what outcomes were produced in what populations with what intervention
  • Have measurable outcomes that have been assessed with psychometrically strong measures, including long-term follow-ups, where indicated
  • Have been tested in a scientifically-sound way with comparison conditions, optimally through randomized controlled studies

Advantages of evidence based programs:

  • Positive outcomes and economic benefits more likely for youth and families
  • Resources will not be used for ineffective programs--better accountability
  • Funding increasingly available primarily for evidence based programs
  • Materials, training, and technical assistance are available


SFP 10-14 Results

  • Youth attending the program had significantly lower rates of alcohol, tobacco and marijuana use compared to control youth.
  • The differences between program and control youth actually increased over time, indicating that skills learned and strong parent-child relationships continue to have greater and greater influence.
  • Youth attending the program had significantly fewer conduct problems in school than youth in the control group.
  • Parents showed gains in specific parenting skills including setting appropriate limits and building a positive relationship with their youth.
  • Parents showed an increase in positive feelings towards their child.
  • Parents show gains on general child management including setting rules and following through with consequences.
  • Parents increase skills in general child management such as effectively monitoring youth and having appropriate and consistent discipline.

A review of some research articles may be found here.

Additional information can be found on the Partnerships in Prevention Science Institute's research projects page.

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