Family-strengthening approaches for the prevention of youth problem behaviors

Kumpfer, K. L.,
Alvarado, R.
Journal Article
Year Published: 2003
American Psychological Association
American Psychologist, 58(6-7):457-465, Jun-Jul 2003.
National Institute on Drug Abuse (Grant DA10825) Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (Grant 6UR6 SPO7926) Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (Grants 87-JS-CXK495 & 95-JN-FX-K010)

Strong families and effective parenting are critical to the prevention of adolescent problem behaviors. Yet dissemination of research-based family interventions has been slow, these authors say, with most practitioners still implementing ineffective programs. In this article, they review two federal studies that involved national searches for effective family interventions targeting pre-birth to adolescence: Preventing Substance Abuse Among Children and Adolescents: Family-Centered Approaches (1998), and Strengthening America's Families (2000). Results revealed three effective prevention approaches (parent training, family skills training, and family therapy), 13 principles of effectiveness, and 35 effective programs. The authors conclude with recommendations for research and practice to promote the widespread adoption and implementation fidelity of effective family-focused, evidence-based prevention programs.

Correspondence to: Karol L. Kumpfer, Department of Health Promotion and Education, 200 South 1850 East, Room 215, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT 84112; E-mail:, Website:
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