The Strengthening Washington D.C. Families Project: Early Outcome Results From a Randomized Clinical Trial

Karol Kumpfer, University of Utah
Denise C. Gottfredson, University of Maryland at College Park
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
This paper reports on an ongoing randomized study of the effectiveness of The Strengthening Washington D.C. Families Project (described in the previous paper). The study, funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, randomly assigns families of children between the ages of seven and eleven to one of four conditions: parent's skills training, children's skills training, family skills training, or minimal contact. The study compares the effects of each of the three training conditions on measures of child self control, rebellious behavior, attitudes about substance use, and academic performance as well as on family bonding and management and substance use of parents and children. Results of an early analysis based upon the first 113 families enrolled in the study indicated significant positive effects on several precursors of adolescent substance use. For example, parents in all three experimental conditions reported improved perceptions of their own parenting skills and improved family organization compared with parents in the minimal condition. On the other hand, a negative effect on child antisocial behavior was uncovered for children assigned to the child-only condition. This presentation will report on both process and outcome evaluation results from the project based on the first 318 families included in the study.

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Updated 05/20/2006