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Effects of a Preventive Parent Training on Observed Family Interactions: Proximal Outcomes From Preparing for the Drug-Free Years

NCJ Number
Journal of Community Psychology Volume: 3 Issue: 25 Dated: 1997 Pages: 277-292
Date Published
16 pages

This article reports the results of an experimental test of the effects of Preparing for the Drug Free Years (PDFY) on targeted parental behaviors. 


Children are especially vulnerable to the initiation of substance use and other problem behaviors as they move from childhood into early adolescence. This is true for children living in urban and rural areas alike. Some family-related factors have been identified as contributors to the risk for or protection against such problems. PDFY is a parenting curriculum based theoretically on the social development model; it seeks to reduce risks and enhance protection against early substance-use initiation by improving patterns of parental behavior and family interaction predictive of childhood substance use. The study examined parental behavior targeted by specific intervention sessions, based on systematic observations of videotaped family interactions. The sample consisted of economically stressed, rural Midwestern families. Consistent with hypotheses, the PDFY intervention was found to be effective in promoting proactive communication from parent to child and in improving the quality of parent-child relationships. PDFY also reduced mothers' negative interactions with their children in the study. (publisher abstract modified)

Date Published: January 1, 1997