Active Parenting of Teens: Families in Action

Scientific Rating:
3
Promising Research Evidence
See scale of 1-5
Child Welfare System Relevance Level:
Medium
See descriptions of 3 levels

About This Program

The information in this program outline is provided by the program representative and edited by the CEBC staff. Active Parenting of Teens: Families in Action has been rated by the CEBC in the area of: Parent Training Programs that Address Behavior Problems in Children and Adolescents.

Target Population: Parents and caregivers of youth ages 12-14

For children/adolescents ages: 12 – 14

For parents/caregivers of children ages: 12 – 14

Brief Description

Active Parenting of Teens: Families in Action is a school- and community-based intervention for middle school-aged youth designed to increase protective factors that prevent and reduce alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use; irresponsible sexual behavior; and violence. Family, school, and peer bonding are important objectives. The program includes a parent and teen component. The parent component uses the curriculum from Active Parenting of Teens. This curriculum is based on Adlerian parenting theory, which advocates mutual respect among family members, parental guidance, and use of an authoritative style of parental leadership that facilitates behavioral correction. A teen component was developed to complement the parent component.

Active Parenting of Teens: Families in Action uses a family-systems approach in which families attend sessions and learn skills. Each of the sessions includes time during which parents and youth meet in separate groups and time during which all family members meet together. Modules address parent-child communication, positive behavior management, interpersonal relationships for adolescents, ways for families to have fun together, enhancement of the adolescent's self-esteem, and factors that promote school success. Youth are taught about the negative social and physical effects of substance use, they learn general life skills and social resistance skills, and they are provided opportunities to practice these skills. Parents are taught skills to help reinforce their teen's skills training. During the portion of each session involving the youth and parents together, they participate in a family enrichment activity and receive a homework assignment to complete before the next session.

The program is offered in six weekly 2-and-1/2-hour long sessions. Typical groups consist of 5 to 12 families. Sessions use videos, group discussion, and role-plays, plus high-energy activities for the teens. Two leaders are needed, one for the parent portion and one for the teen portion, with one of the two leaders also leading the parents and teens combined.

Program Goals:

The goals of Active Parenting of Teens – Families in Action are:

  • Teach parents a comprehensive model of parenting adolescents that will better enable them children to survive and thrive in a modern democratic society
  • Teach teens the complementary life skills for surviving and thriving in a modern democratic society
  • Decrease the amount of parent-teen relationship problems
  • Improve teen behavior
  • Improve teen welfare

Essential Components

The essential elements of Active Parenting of Teens: Families in Action include:

  • Uses a multimodal, video-based delivery system:
    • Brief video vignettes on new concepts and model both ineffective and positive parenting skills for each topic
    • A structured Leader’s Guide with a detailed structure for all aspects of the program.
    • Experiential activities with key concepts and skills
    • Leader-facilitated group discussion using the Leader’s Guide
    • Extensive PowerPoint slides (which some leaders prefer to put on charts or board as they go)
    • Home assignments followed by next session feedback enhance learning
    • A comprehensive Parent’s Guide with all content, exercises, home assignments, and class activities
    • Organized around strength development in teens
  • Focuses on developing and enhancing five key qualities in children while at the same time teaching skills for improving everyday living in the family, school, and community:
    • Five key qualities:Courage, responsibility, cooperation, mutual respect, and self-esteem
    • Designed to be easy to lead
    • Components of the program facilitate the leading of group sessions
    • Leader training available through live workshops, but not required
  • Designed to be flexible:
    • Group Sessions
    • Home visitation
    • Media-based delivery or review (television or Internet)

Child/Adolescent Services

Active Parenting of Teens: Families in Action directly provides services to children/adolescents and addresses the following:

  • Preteens and teens with oppositional behavior, problematic thoughts or traits, poor self-esteem, and lack of general life skills

Parent/Caregiver Services

Active Parenting of Teens: Families in Action directly provides services to parents/caregivers and addresses the following:

  • Parents with poor parenting skills, lack of education regarding parenting techniques for more challenging children, and family problems; parent of a child with any of a wide range of problematic behaviors, thoughts, or traits including oppositional behavior, poor self-esteem, and a lack of general life skills
Services Involve Family/Support Structures:

This program involves the family or other support systems in the individual's treatment: This is both a parenting education program and a teen life skills training program designed to improve teen functioning through change in the parent’s knowledge, attitudes, and parenting skills as well as directly through the teen’s own participation.

Delivery Settings

This program is typically conducted in a(n):

  • Community Agency
  • Hospital
  • Outpatient Clinic
  • Religious Organization
  • School
  • Military Base

Homework

Active Parenting of Teens: Families in Action includes a homework component:

Each session concludes with homework assignments designed to aid parents and teens in applying new information and skills with their families at home. These assignments are supported in the Participant's Guide and then followed up the next session by the leader using questions from the Leader’s Guide.

Languages

Active Parenting of Teens: Families in Action has materials available in languages other than English:

Arabic, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, Swedish

For information on which materials are available in these languages, please check on the program's website or contact the program representative (contact information is listed at the bottom of this page).

Resources Needed to Run Program

The typical resources for implementing the program are:

Groups are usually led by two co-leaders (one for the parents and one for the teens) with a mental health, education, or youth work background. In addition, a comfortable room that will seat 10-20 parents in chairs; a TV and DVD player; either a means of projecting a Power Point presentation and/or a white board or flip chart.

Minimum Provider Qualifications

This is left up to the providing organization, but most leaders have a degree in mental health, education, or a related field.

Education and Training Resources

There is a manual that describes how to implement this program, and there is training available for this program.

Training Contact:
Training is obtained:

Available for organizations upon request (minimum of ten participants)

Number of days/hours:

Two days: one day for the parents' component; one day for the teens' component

Implementation Information

Since Active Parenting of Teens: Families in Action is rated on the Scientific Rating Scale, information was requested from the program representative on available pre-implementation assessments, implementation tools, and/or fidelity measures.

Show implementation information...

Pre-Implementation Materials

The program representative did not provide information about pre-implementation materials.

Formal Support for Implementation

The program representative did not provide information about formal support for implementation of Active Parenting of Teens: Families in Action.

Fidelity Measures

The program representative did not provide information about fidelity measures of Active Parenting of Teens: Families in Action.

Implementation Guides or Manuals

The program representative did not provide information about implementation guides or manuals for Active Parenting of Teens: Families in Action.

Research on How to Implement the Program

The program representative did not provide information about research conducted on how to implement Active Parenting of Teens: Families in Action.

Relevant Published, Peer-Reviewed Research

This program is rated a "3 - Promising Research Evidence" on the Scientific Rating Scale based on the published, peer-reviewed research available. The practice must have at least one study utilizing some form of control (e.g., untreated group, placebo group, matched wait list study) establishing the practice's benefit over the placebo, or found it to be comparable to or better than an appropriate comparison practice. Please see the Scientific Rating Scale for more information.

Child Welfare Outcome: Child/Family Well-Being

Show relevant research...

Abbey, A., Pilgrim, C., Hendrickson, P., Lorenz, S. (1998). Implementation and impact of a family-based substance abuse prevention program in rural communities. The Journal of Primary Prevention, 18(3), 341-361.

Type of Study: Nonequivalent control group design
Number of Participants: Intervention group: 58 students and 61 parents; Comparison group: 510 students and 443 parents

Population:

  • Age — Not specified
  • Race/Ethnicity — Not specified
  • Gender — Not specified
  • Status — Participants were students entering middle or junior high school.

Location/Institution: Rural low-income area in the Midwest

Summary: (To include comparison groups, outcomes, measures, notable limitations)
This study evaluated the Active Parenting of Teens: Families in Action program. Measures used were the Family Environment Scale, Effective School Battery, and Inventory of Peer Attachment. A 5-item alcohol and a 2-item tobacco attitude scale were created by adapting items from the “Parents” scale in Program Evaluation Handbook: Drug Abuse Education. The program was offered to all eligible families in eight rural school districts. Families who chose to participate in the program were compared to nonparticipating families; there were significant differences between the groups at baseline. Analysis controlling for initial differences found several positive effects of program participation at the one-year follow-up. The results were strongest for boys. Limitations include nonrandomization of group assignment, small sample size, and generalizablity due to population selection.

Length of postintervention follow-up: 1 year.

Abbey, A., Pilgrim, C., Hendrickson, P., and Buresh, S. (2000). Evaluation of a family-based substance abuse prevention program targeted for the middle school years. Journal of Drug Education, 30(2), 213-228.

Type of Study: Nonequivalent control group design
Number of Participants: Intervention: 29 students and 28 parents; Control: 268 students and 134 parents

Population:

  • Age — Intervention students: 59% age 12 and older; Control group: Not specified
  • Race/Ethnicity — Not specified
  • Gender — Intervention students: 52% Male; Control group: Not specified
  • Status — Participants were students entering middle or junior high school who were recruited for the program through advertisement in schools, PSAs community human service and civic groups.

Location/Institution: Rural northeastern Michigan

Summary: (To include comparison groups, outcomes, measures, notable limitations)
This study evaluates the Active Parenting of Teens: Families in Action program. Baseline surveys were conducted with students and parents in Active Parenting of Teens: Families in Action groups in four schools and were re-administered one year later. Students and parents who voluntarily completed the Active Parenting of Teens: Families in Action were compared to all other students and families in the school who did not complete the Active Parenting of Teens: Families in Action. Measures used were the Family Environment Scale, Effective School Battery, Inventory of Peer Attachment, and the Piers-Harris Children’s Self-Concept Scale. Analyses indicated that Active Parenting of Teens: Families in Action participants had higher family cohesion, less family fighting, greater school attachment, higher self-esteem, and believed that alcohol should be consumed at an older age at the one year follow-up. There were fewer significant results for parent participants. Limitations include the lack of randomization of group assignment, high sample attrition rates, and concerns about generalizablity.

Length of postintervention follow-up: Approximately 10 months.

References

CLAS (Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services) Review. (2001). Padres Activos de Hoy. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. CLAS #CL03985.

Popkin, M. (1991). Active Parenting: A video-based program, In M. Fine (Ed.), The second handbook of parent education, (pp. 77-98). San Diego: Academic Press.

Contact Information

Name: Michael Popkin, PhD
Agency/Affiliation: Active Parenting Publishers
Website: www.activeparenting.com
Email:
Phone: (678) 738-0462
Fax: (770) 429-0565

Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: July 2017

Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: January 2013

Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: January 2013