Staying Connected with Your Teen is a family-based program
aimed at preventing maladaptive behaviors in youth, including substance use,
delinquency, and early-onset sexual activity. The intervention teaches parents
how to successfully engage children in family-oriented tasks and encourages
positive parent-child interactions. In an evaluation of the program, 331
adolescents and their parents were randomly assigned to one of the following
three study conditions: 1) a self-administered intervention, 2) a group
administered intervention, or 3) a no-treatment control group. Results
indicated that the intervention had positive impacts on attitudes towards
substance use for the full sample and positive impacts for black youth on
reported violence and initiation of sexual activity.
DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM
Target population:White and black adolescents and
Staying Connected with Your Teen is a family-based program
geared at preventing substance use, delinquency, and early-onset engagement in
sexual activity in adolescents. The program includes parenting, youth, and
family components and is designed to teach parents how to engage children in
family processes and relationships. The curriculum involves lessons about how
parents can relate to their teens, identifying risk factors, protecting teens
from harmful situations, supervision, and family problem-solving, involvement,
The program can be group- or self-administered. The group
administered version is comprised of seven, two-hour sessions that meet on a
weekly basis. The program requires families to meet together and view
curriculum-based videos. Parents and teens then separate into different groups
to practice specific skills. The last portion of the each session involves
families and youth coming together to practice structured family interaction
The cost of implementation materials, including the
Leader’s Package and the Leader’s Kit, is estimated at $1,841. There is an
additional expense of roughly $897 per family, and this covers the cost of the
videos/DVDs and the self-study workbook materials.
EVALUATION (S) OF PROGRAM
Haggerty, K.P., Skinner, M.L., MacKenzie, E.P., &
Catalano, R.F. (2007). A randomized trial of Parents Who Care: Outcomes at
24-month follow-up. Prevention Science, 8,249-260.
Evaluated population: 331 eighth graders and their
parents served as the sample for the evaluation of this intervention. The
sample was 49% black and 51% white. The mean age of the sample was 13.7 years.
Eighty-seven percent of parents had a high school degree, and 40 percent of
children came from single parent households.
Approach: Upon entrance into the study, youth
provided baseline data on a series of indicators, including perceptions of drug
use harm, favorable attitudes about drug use, frequency of delinquent and
violent behaviors, and participation in cigarette smoking, alcohol and drug use,
and sexual activity.
After completing baseline assessments, families were
randomly assigned to one of the three following study conditions: 1) the
self-administered Parents Who Care intervention, 2) the group administered
Parents Who Care intervention, or 3) a no-treatment control group. Participants
of the self-administered program were instructed to view the program videos and
complete workbook activities over the course of 10 weeks. They also engaged in
weekly calls with a program consultant who assisted the families with any
intervention questions or problems. Participants in the group administered
program attended two hour long sessions weekly, for a period of seven weeks.
Both groups completed workbook activities on their own time.
Youth again completed the baseline assessment battery
immediately following the intervention, and one and two years after the
conclusion of the intervention. Measured outcomes included post-intervention
assessments and changes from baseline to the two-year follow-up on the following
indicators: perceptions of drug use harm, favorable attitudes about drug use,
frequency of delinquent and violent behaviors, and participation in cigarette
smoking, alcohol and drug use, and sexual activity.
Results: Results indicated that, between baseline
and the two-year follow-up, participants in the self-administered Parents Who
Care intervention group had a significant reduction in favorable attitudes
towards substance use compared to the group-administered Parents Who Care
program and control participants. There were no overall intervention effects
for perceived harm of substance use, nonviolent delinquency, or violence over
At the 2-year follow-up, participants in self-administered
(effect size = .39) and group administered (effect size = .22) intervention
groups had significantly less favorable attitudes about drug use than
participants in the control group. There were no overall group differences in
violent behavior at the 2-year follow-up; however, black youth in the
self-administered intervention group reported significantly lower levels of
violence at this point than black youth in the other two study groups (effect
size = .45). There were no program impacts at the two-year follow-up on
perceived harm of substance abuse and participation in nonviolent delinquency.
Finally, analyses indicated that there were no overall
significant impacts on the likelihood of having initiated drug use or sex at the
two-year follow-up. However, black youth in the group administered intervention
were significantly less likely to have initiated sexual activity at the two-year
follow-up than black youth in the other two study groups.
SOURCES FOR MORE INFORMATION
Link to program website:
Haggerty, K.P., Skinner, M.L., MacKenzie, E.P., & Catalano,
R.F. (2007). A randomized trial of Parents Who Care: Outcomes at 24-month
follow-up. Prevention Science, 8,249-260.
Keywords: Adolescents, Middle School, Co-ed,
White/Caucasian, Black/African American, Community-based, Parent Training,
Skills Training, Sexual Activity, Aggression/Violence/Bullying, Delinquency,
Alcohol, Tobacco, Marijuana/Illegal/Prescription Drugs
Program information last updated on 7/17/09.