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Am Psychol. 2003 Jun-Jul;58(6-7):457-65.

Family-strengthening approaches for the prevention of youth problem behaviors.

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  • 1Department of Health Promotion and Education, 200 South 1850 East, Room 215, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT 84112, USA. karol.kumpfer@health.utah.edu


Effective parenting is the most powerful way to reduce adolescent problem behaviors. Dissemination of research-based family interventions has been slow, with most practitioners still implementing ineffective programs. This article reviews 2 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 (Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, 1998) and Strengthening America's Families (R. Alvarado, K. L. Kumpfer, K. Kendall, S. Beesley, & C. Lee-Cavaness, 2000). Results identified 3 effective prevention approaches, 13 principles of effectiveness, and 35 programs. Recommendations include increased dissemination research on training and technical assistance systems, adoption with fidelity and quality, and gender-, age-, and culturally sensitive adaptations.

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