OBJECTIVES: The present research addressed the following important question in pediatricmedicine: Can participation in a new family-centered preventive intervention, the Strong African American Families-Teen (SAAF-T) program, deter conduct problems, substance use, substance use problems, and depressive symptoms among rural black adolescents across 22 months? METHODS: Data were collected from 502 black families in rural Georgia, assigned randomly to SAAF-T or an attention control condition. The prevention condition consisted of 5 consecutive meetings at community facilities with separate, concurrent sessions for caregivers and adolescents followed by a caregiver-adolescent session in which families practiced skills they learned in the separate sessions. Adolescents self-reported conduct problem behaviors, substance use, substance use problems, and depressive symptoms at ages 16 years (pretest) and 17 years 10 months (long-term assessment). RESULTS: Adolescents who participated in SAAF-T evinced lower increases in conduct problem behavior, substance use, substance use problems, and depressive symptom frequencies than did adolescents in the attention control condition across the 22 months between pretest and long-term assessment. CONCLUSIONS: This is the first study to demonstrate efficacy in a prevention program designed to deter conduct problems, substance use, substance use problems, and depressive symptoms among rural black adolescents. Because SAAF-T is a manualized, structured program, it can be easily disseminated to public health agencies, schools, churches, boys' and girls' clubs, and other community organizations.
- Drug-seeking behavior
- Family intervention
- Social adjustment
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health