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Promising Program Seal

Strong African American Families - Teen

Blueprints Program Rating: Promising

A family-centered group preventive intervention for black teens living in rural communities entering high school to prevent conduct problems, substance use, and depressive symptoms, and promote protective sexual behavior efficacy.

Program Outcomes

  • Alcohol
  • Conduct Problems
  • Depression
  • Illicit Drug Use
  • Sexual Risk Behaviors

Program Type

  • Alcohol Prevention and Treatment
  • Community, Other Approaches
  • Parent Training
  • Skills Training

Program Setting

  • Community (e.g., religious, recreation)

Continuum of Intervention

  • Universal Prevention (Entire Population)


  • Late Adolescence (15-18) - High School


  • Male and Female


  • African American


  • Blueprints: Promising

Program Information Contact

Megan Sperr, MPA
The Center for Family Research
University of Georgia
1095 College Station Road
Athens, GA 30602-4527

Program Developer/Owner

  • Gene H. Brody, Ph.D.
  • Center for Family Research

Brief Description of the Program

The Strong African American Families - Teen (SAAF-T) intervention is a preventive intervention for African-American students living in rural communities entering high school that integrates individual youth skills building, parenting skills training, and family interaction training. SAAF-T involves five group sessions using DVDs where narrators address specific content and actors present family scenarios depicting program-targeted interactions and behaviors. Each meeting includes separate one-hour concurrent training for caregivers and youth, followed by a one-hour conjoint session during which families practice the skills they learned in their separate sessions. The program provides parents and youth with skills that nurture adolescent self-regulation, achievement orientation, and negative attitudes toward substance use and other risk behaviors. One of the units involves a focus on sexual health. The program is interactive involving role-playing activities, guided discussions, and question answering.

See: Full Description


Relative to the control group, the program significantly improved self-reported youth:

  • Substance use
  • Substance use problems
  • Conduct problems
  • Depression
  • Frequency of unprotected sex

Risk and protective factors:

  • Parent-reported family management skills
  • Youth-reported condom efficacy

Race/Ethnicity/Gender Details

Families were all self-identified as African American.

Risk and Protective Factors

Risk Factors
  • Individual: Favorable attitudes towards antisocial behavior, Favorable attitudes towards drug use
  • Family: Parental attitudes favorable to antisocial behavior, Parental attitudes favorable to drug use, Poor family management*, Unplanned pregnancy
Protective Factors
  • Individual: Problem solving skills, Prosocial involvement
  • Peer: Interaction with prosocial peers
  • Family: Attachment to parents, Opportunities for prosocial involvement with parents, Parent social support, Parental involvement in education

*Risk/Protective Factor was significantly impacted by the program.

See also: Strong African American Families - Teen Logic Model (PDF)

Training and Technical Assistance

Training for the Strong African American Families - Teen (SAAF-T) program includes three full days of in-depth training on the SAAF-T curriculum. During the three-day period, facilitators are trained on 24 hours of program content via curriculum review, role plays and open discussion regarding the applicability of program content to the local community. The third day of training requires that training participants present an assigned segment of the curriculum to the group as though implementing those activities with families. Facilitators must complete the full three-day training, in order to become a certified SAAF-T Facilitator. Technical assistance is available during all phases of program adoption (e.g., organizing the training) and implementation (e.g., recruitment, evaluation) to ensure program success.

The Strong African American Families Teen (SAAF-T) Training and Program Package, which includes the initial training and curriculum, costs $8,000 for up to 30 trainees. The cost includes the 3-day training, 2 sets of the SAAF-T Program DVDs, electronic files of the curriculum materials and curriculum manuals, plus one complete set of printed materials for the first implementation, resource materials and technical assistance. Travel for two SAAF-T trainers are estimated at $2,662.

Training Certification Process

The CFR Dissemination Office has developed a process by which Certified SAAF-T Facilitators who meet certain criteria and requirements can participate in a training that will allow them to become a Certified Agency Trainer. The Certified Agency Trainer is limited to providing the SAAF-T training to individuals within their own agency. They are not authorized to train individuals from other agencies or SAAF Sites. The cost associated with this training is $1500 for the first person and $500 for each additional person. Contact CFR for further information.

Certified Agency Trainer

A viable candidate for Agency Trainer is a Certified SAAF-T Facilitator who meets the following minimum criteria:

  • Participated in a SAAF-T TOF training conducted by CFR Master Trainers.
  • Implemented the full 5-week SAAF-T Program at least 2 times as a parent/caregiver facilitator and 2 times as a youth facilitator. This criterion (a total of 4 implementations) ensures that the potential Agency Trainer has also implemented the family session 4 times.

Brief Evaluation Methodology

The 502 African-American families participating in the study had a youth aged 15-16 and resided in six rural counties in Georgia. They were randomized to intervention and control groups. Assessment of self-reported parent management skills occurred at pretest and posttest (2 months after the intervention ended), and assessment of self-reported youth outcomes occurred at pretest and an average of 22 months after baseline.


Brody, G. H., Chen, Y., Kogan, S. M., Yu, T., Molgaard, V. K., DiClemente, R. J., & Wingood, G. M. (2012). Family-centered program deters substance use, conduct problems, and depressive symptoms in black adolescents. Pediatrics, 129, 108-115.

Kogan, S. M., Brody, G. H., Molgaard, V. K., Grange, C. M., Oliver, D. A. H., Anderson, T. N., ... Sperr, M. C. (2012). The strong African American Families-Teen trial: Rationale, design, engagement processes, and family-specific effects. Prevention Science, 13, 206-217.

Kogan, S. M., Yu, T., Brody, G. H., Chen, Y., DiClemente, R. J., Wingood, G. M., & Corso, P. S. (2012). Integrating condom skills into family-centered prevention: Efficacy of the Strong African American Families-Teen program. Journal of Adolescent Health, 51, 164-170.