Model Family Programs for Delinquency Prevention
Rating * Exemplary Target * 8-14 Speciality * Parent Training
Program * Preparing for the Drug Free Years
Description *

  Preparing for the Drug Free Years (PDFY) is a program for parents of children in grades 4 through 8 and seeks to reduce drug abuse and behavioral problems in adolescents by increasing parents skills to reduce risks that could contribute to drug abuse. Parents also learn principles of the social development strategy to strengthen family bonding. As a result, families build protection against risk. PDFY is designed for use before children begin experimenting with drugs. The program focuses on family relations, family management practices, and family conflict resolution.

PDFY incorporates both behavioral skills training and communication-centered approaches to parent training. Two volunteer workshop leaders, ideally one leader is a parent, deliver the program in five two-hour sessions or ten one-hour sessions. Parents learn to increase their children's opportunities for family involvement, teach skills needed and provide reinforcement and appropriate consequences for behavior. Discussions include the nature of the problem, how to reduce risks by strengthening family bonds, how to conduct family meetings and foster family communication, establishing a family position on drugs, identifying and establishing positive reinforcement and appropriate negative consequences, reinforcing a child's refusal skills, how to express and manage anger constructively, how to increase children's participation in the family and how to create a parent support network.

An evaluation in rural Iowa employing an experimental, longitudinal design showed significant overall improvement on intervention-targeted parenting behaviors, general child management and parent-child affective quality for both parents in the intervention group. Preliminary results are also available from an experimental study with follow-up assessments also involving rural Iowa. Among parents assigned to the PDFY curriculum, interventiontargeted parenting behaviors showed significant improvements for both mothers and fathers.

    Contact * David Hawkins, Ph.D. and Richard Catalano, Ph.D.
(contact) Barbara McCarthy 
    Address* 130 Nickerson St., Suite 107 
        Seattle, WA  98109
    Phone * 800 736-2630
    Email  * 
    Website   *  
    Dept. of Health Promotion and Education

Funded by - Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention