To What Extent Is the Program Training Parents to Develop Important Skills?

Parents who are adequately trained to monitor and supervise their children are more likely to see positive impacts on substance use (Dusenbury, 2003; Winters, 2007). Parent training activities should address the following topics and allow parents opportunities to practice related skills.

Family Management

  • Engaging in appropriate levels of supervision and monitoring
  • Establishing clear rules based on realistic expectations
  • Using consistent consequences when rules are broken

Family Support

  • Building family togetherness and solidarity  (e.g., by engaging in activities together)
  • Strengthening emotional closeness (e.g., by spending quality time together)
  • Using praise and positive reinforcement (such as recognizing good behavior by increasing responsibilities and privileges).

Family Norms

  • Communicating messages about the dangers of drug use 

Family Stress

  • Using adaptive parental coping strategies

Activities to learn skills related to the use of family management and support strategies, the establishment of family norms, and the ability to cope with stressors include role plays and homework activities with youth.

Items to assess whether programs offer families the opportunities to practice effective parenting skills can be integrated into fidelity assessment tools which are completed by staff after each session (see section entitled: To what extent is the program content being delivered as intended?)


Sources Cited

Dusenbury, L. (2000). Family-based drug abuse prevention programmes: a review.  Journal of  Primary Prevention, 20, 337-352.

Elmquist, D. L. (1995). A systematic review of parent-oriented programs to prevent children’s use of alcohol and other drugs. Journal of Drug Education, 25, 251-279. doi:10.2190/XAW9-JV18-J480-4VD7

St. Pierre, T. L. (1998). Involving parents of high-risk youth in drug prevention. Madison, WI: School of Human Ecology: UW-Madison. 

Winters, K.C., Fawkes, T., Fahnhorst, T., Botzet, A., & August, G. (2007). A synthesis review of exemplary drug abuse prevention programs in the United States. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 32, 371-380. doi:10.1016/j.jsat.2006.10.002