Family-based prevention programs increasingly are being disseminated and can be effective for an array of adolescent problem behaviors, including substance use initiation. Yet, we continue to have little understanding of how and why these programs work. Increased specificity in our understanding of what components drive program effects can facilitate refinement of programs, with potential for greater impact at a lower cost. Using attendance data, previously coded intervention components, and a previously developed propensity model to adjust for potential bias, this study evaluated content component-specific dosage effects of the Strengthening Families Program: for Parents and Youth Ages 10–14 on three substance use initiation outcomes by grade 12. Results indicated that greater dosages of program content related to (a) parental monitoring and behavior management strategies and (b) promoting positive family relationships had potent and robust effects on reduction of risk for initiating drunkenness and marijuana use and (c) self-regulation and stress management had potent and robust effects on reduction of risk for initiating cigarette and marijuana use. Results indicate potential critical components within SFP 10–14 and offer a path forward for continuing work in efforts to optimize this widely disseminated program.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health