Prevention; Ages 6–12
Effective delinquency program
The Strengthening Families Program I (SFP-I) involves elementary school-aged children and their families in family skills training sessions. SFP was originally developed and tested in 1983 with 6- to 12-year-old children of parents in substance abuse treatment. Since then, culturally modified versions with new manuals have been evaluated and found effective for families with diverse backgrounds: African-American, Asian/Pacific Islander, Hispanic/Latino, Native American, Canadian, and Australian. SFP is also now widely used with non-substance-abusing parents in elementary schools, faith communities, housing communities, mental health centers, jails, homeless shelters, protective service agencies, and social and family services agencies.
SFP uses family systems and cognitive-behavioral approaches to increase resilience and reduce risk factors for behavioral, emotional, academic, and social problems. Incentives are offered for attendance, good behavior in children, and homework completion to increase program recruitment and participation.
- Improved resilience, assets, and protective factors in children and parents.
- Decreased risk factors in parents and children.
- Decreased children’s behavioral problems and conduct disorders.
- Improved family cohesion, communication, and organization.
- Decreased family conflict and stress.
Details of outcome studies are available at the Strengthening Families Program Web site: http://www.strengtheningfamiliesprogram.org/evaluation.html.
- Antisocial/delinquent beliefs
- Conduct disorders (authority conflict/rebellious/stubborn/disruptive/antisocial)
- General delinquency involvement
- High alcohol/drug use
- Antisocial parents
- Child maltreatment (abuse or neglect)
- Delinquent siblings
- Family violence (child maltreatment, partner violence, conflict)
- Having a teenage mother
- High parental stress/maternal depression
- Low parental attachment to child/adolescent
- Parental use of physical punishment/harsh and/or erratic discipline practices
- Poor parental supervision (control, monitoring, and child management)
- Poor parent-child relations or communication
- Frequent school transitions
- Frequent truancy/absences/suspensions; expelled from school; dropping out of school
- Identified as learning disabled
- Low academic aspirations
- Low achievement in school
- Low school attachment/bonding/motivation/commitment to school
- Old for grade/repeated a grade
- Poor student-teacher relations
- Poorly defined rules and expectations for appropriate conduct
- Student failure in the first grade
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Model program
National Institute on Drug Abuse: Model program
OJJDP Blueprints Project: Promising program
Karol Kumpfer, Ph.D.
Department of Health Promotion and Education
University of Utah
250 South, 1850 East, Room 215
Salt Lake City, UT 84112-0920
Phone: (801) 581-7718
Fax: (801) 581-5872
E-mail: [email protected]
Web site: https://www.strengtheningfamiliesprogram.org/contact.html
Kumpfer, K. L., and Alvarado, R. (1998). “Effective Family Strengthening Interventions.” Juvenile Justice Bulletin. Washington, DC: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.