The Strengthening Families Program for Parents and Youth 3–16 (SFP 3–16) is a video-based intervention designed to reduce adolescent substance abuse and other problematic behaviors in youth 3 to 16 years old. The program is delivered within parent, youth, and family sessions using narrated videos that portray typical youth and parent situations. Sessions are highly interactive and include role playing, discussions, learning games, and family projects designed to:
The basic program is delivered over seven weeks, usually in the evenings. Four optional booster sessions can be held 3 to 12 months after the basic sessions. Bringing parents and youth together in SFP 3–16 has been particularly effective at building parent skills (e.g., monitoring, setting limits, expressing affection) and youth skills (e.g., resisting peer pressure, making positive goals, managing strong emotions) and changing behavior.
A print version of the parent sessions is available for non-English-speaking Hispanic/Latino parents and other ethnic groups who may be less able to relate to the videos. (Program instructions are in English; posters, handouts, and scripts for role plays are available in both Spanish and English.)
In sum, this program has been found to:
U.S. Department of Education: Exemplary program
OJJDP Blueprints Project: Promising program
National Institute on Drug Abuse, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Effective program
Cathy Hockaday, Ph.D.
Extension Program Coordinator
1087 LeBaron Hall
Ames, IA 50011
Phone: (515) 294-7601
Spoth, Richard L., Max Guyll, Wei Chao, and Virginia K. Molgaard. 2003. “Virginia Molgaard Exploratory Study of a Preventive Intervention With General Population African American Families.” Journal of Early Adolescence 23(4):435–86.
Spoth, Richard L., Cleve Redmond, Chungyeol Shin, and Kari Azevedo. 2004. “Brief Family Intervention Effects on Adolescent Substance Initiation: School-Level Growth Curve Analyses 6 Years Following Baseline.” Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 72(3):535–42.
Spoth, Richard L., G. Kevin Randall, and Chungyeol Shin. 2008. “Increasing School Success Through Partnership-Based Family Competency Training: Experimental Study of Long-Term Outcomes.” School Psychology Quarterly 23(1):70–89.