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Testing a Brief Substance Misuse Preventive Intervention for Parents of Pre-Adolescents: Feasibility, Acceptability, Preliminary Efficacy

NCJ Number
Journal of Child and Family Studies Volume: 25 Issue: 12 Dated: 2016 Pages: 3739-48
Date Published
10 pages

The authors provide a research report that seeks to fill an information gap on the effectiveness of evidence-based interventions in reducing substance misuse among adolescents; they provide details about their research methodology and outcomes, and the implications of their research.


Evidence-based interventions to reduce substance misuse among adolescents are resource and time intensive. In order to address this challenge, the authors conducted a pilot randomized controlled trial to evaluate a novel, adaptable, and resource-efficient substance misuse preventive intervention for parents/guardians, which focused on talking with children about substance use and eating family meals. The authors randomized 70 parents of children in third-through-sixth grades within a large, urban public school system in New England to the intervention or control condition. Over a six-month follow-up period, they assessed feasibility and acceptability of the intervention and examined frequency of parent–child conversations about alcohol, marijuana, and other drugs, and frequency and duration of family meals. A total of 29 parents were assigned to the intervention and 35 to the control condition. The intervention was found to be feasible and acceptable to participants as evidenced by high recruitment and retention rates and positive feedback from qualitative exit interviews. Patterns in frequency and duration of family meals between the two conditions were not significantly different over time. The authors note that a higher percentage of parents randomized to the intervention condition spoke with their children about alcohol, marijuana, and other drugs, but the frequency and duration of meals was not impacted. Further testing of the brief intervention with a larger sample to assess efficacy is warranted. Publisher Abstract Provided

Date Published: January 1, 2016