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Washington State University

Strengthening Families Program

In partnership with WSU Extension faculty, including Dr. Louise Parker of WSU’s IMPACT Lab, Drs. Laura Hill and Brittany Cooper are conducting a longitudinal study of the implementation, dissemination, sustainability, and outcomes of an evidence-based model program (the Strengthening Families Program for Parents and Youth 10-14) in Washington State. Among other questions, they are investigating: the types of, and reasons for, program adaptations; their links with parent and youth outcomes; and, the organizational, program, and community factors associated with long-term program sustainability. Human Development faculty member Marcelo Diversi recently joined the SFP project to assist in the development of culturally relevant implementation and evaluation among Latino participants.

In addition, the IMPACT Lab provides evaluation services, including local and state evaluation reports, for our SFP community partners to use for quality improvement and promotion of their program to local stakeholders.

Research studies on results of the Strengthening Families Program for Parents and Youth 10-14 Years (SFP) have consistently demonstrated its excellence and success as a prevention program.

The original controlled, randomized trial in Iowa showed that four years after the program, youth who attended SFP with their families were significantly less likely to have started using alcohol and tobacco. They were also less aggressive than youth in the control group. Families who attended SFP reported significant increases in family cohesion.

Research documentation of the program’s effectiveness has led to recognition of SFP by the National Institute of Drug Abuse and the US Departments of Education, of Justice, and of Health and Human Services.