The Strengthening Washington D.C. Families Project: Description and Process Evaluation

Denise C. Gottfredson, University of Maryland at College Park
Karol Kumpfer, University of Utah
Duren Banks, University of Maryland at College Park
Danielle M. Polizzi, University of Maryland at College Park
Veronica Puryear, University of Maryland at College Park
Jamie Middleton, University of Maryland at College Park
David B. Wilson, University of Maryland at College Park

ABSTRACT
The Strengthening Families Program (SFP; Kumpfer, DeMarsh, and Child, 1989) has been disseminated as an effective family-based program targeting several family and child risk factors for substance use. This program consists of fourteen hour-long sessions delivered to children aged 7-11, fourteen hour-long sessions delivered to the parents of these children, and fourteen hour-long family sessions during which the children and parents come together to practice their new skills. This paper reports on an ongoing randomized study of the effectiveness for reducing substance use and its precursors among children from 800 primarily African American families residing in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. To date, 442 families have been enrolled in the study by five different program sites in the D.C. area. Process data indicate recruitment and retention of families present major challenges: Twenty-seven percent (27%) of families drop out immediately, and the average number of the fourteen sessions attended among those who attend at least one session is eight. However, the program is being delivered with fidelity to the program design, and tests of SFP-related knowledge administered at the end of each session indicate that parents correctly answer most questions related to the program content. This paper will report on efforts to recruit and retain subjects in the study. Implementation fidelity will also be discussed.

(Return to Program Resources)

Updated 05/20/2006