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Preparing for the Drug Free Years

NCJ Number
Kevin Haggerty; Rick Kosterman; Richard F. Catalano; J. David Hawkins
Date Published
July 1999
12 pages
This Bulletin provides an overview of the PDFY (Preparing for the Drug Free Years) parenting program and summarizes results of studies of the program.
The goal of PDFY is to empower parents of children ages 8 to 14 to reduce the risks that their children will abuse drugs and alcohol or develop other common adolescent problems. PDFY teaches parents how to reduce critical risk factors and enhance protective factors that are especially important during the late elementary and middle school years. The PDFY curriculum, based largely on the research base developed by David Hawkins and Richard Catalano, is guided theoretically by the social- development model, which emphasizes the role of bonding to family, school, and peers in healthy adolescent development. The model specifies that strong bonding to positive influences reduces the probability of delinquency and other problem behaviors. The curriculum is usually offered in a five-session, 2-hour format. Evaluation studies of PDFY have addressed two major issues. First, because the program is designed for the general public, the success of dissemination efforts has been assessed. Second, the efficacy of the program has been evaluated. Together, the evaluation studies provide promising evidence that the PDFY program is appropriate for general and diverse populations and that it can be successfully disseminated. Most important, the studies show that PDFY improves parenting practices in ways that reduce risk factors and enhance protective factors for adolescent problem behaviors. 1 table, 4 figures, and 15 references