This article reports on the findings and methodology of an evaluation of a randomized prevention trial that contrasted families who took part in the Strong African American Families Program (SAAF), a preventive intervention for rural African American mothers and their 11-year-olds, with control families.
SAAF is based on a contextual model that theorizes regulated, communicative parenting causes changes in factors that protect youths from early alcohol use and sexual activity. Parenting variables included involvement-vigilance, racial socialization, communication about sex, and clear expectations for alcohol use. Youth protective factors included negative attitudes about early alcohol use and sexual activity, negative images of drinking youths, resistance efficacy, a goal-directed future orientation, and acceptance of parental influence. Intervention-induced changes in parenting mediated the effect of intervention group influences on changes in protective factors over a 7-month period. (publisher abstract modified)