Program Factsheet

Guiding Good Choices

Guiding Good Choices (formerly known as Preparing for the Drug Free Years) is a five-session workshop for caregivers of children ages 9-14 (grades 4-8). The program focuses on drug prevention, though it also focuses on reducing other types of child behavior problems as well. The program teaches parents effective family management and communication skills to assist in improving the parent-child bond and increase family involvement.


  • Family

Developmental Phases

  • Early Adolescence

Related Constructs


Key Links

Channing Bete Company One Community Place South Deerfield, MA 01373

Phone: 1-800-628-7733 Fax: 360-876-5263 Email:

How it Operates

Each session of the Guiding Good Choices workshop lasts 2 hours and sessions are typically held weekly. Workshop providers can be any community member (e.g., teachers, parent educators) who feels comfortable leading parent groups and who has received certified training in the Guiding Good Choices curriculum. Workshop sessions utilize workbooks and video-based discussion modules. Four of the five sessions are parent-only while the fifth session includes both the parent and the child. The following topics are addressed across Guiding Good Choices’ five-session workshop:

Session 1: Getting Started: How to Prevent Drug Abuse in Your Family

Session 2: Setting Clear Family Expectations on Drugs and Alcohol

Session 3: Avoiding Trouble

Session 4: Managing Family Conflict

Session 5: Strengthening Family Bonds

Training Required

A three-day training course, conducted by the Channing Bete Company, is required for an individual to serve as a Guiding Good Choices workshop leader. Training for providers is administered by certified trainers in order to maintain program fidelity. Training resources include the Core Program or the Workshop Leader’s Package (includes the Core Program and 25 Family Guides). Many program materials are available in both Spanish and English and can be ordered via the website. For current training and resources cost information contact Guiding Good Choices program administrators or view the Guiding Good Choices Program Components and Pricing web page. The Channing Bete Company website lists the following contact for additional training information:

Dr. Dorothy Ghylin, 81 NW Doncee Drive, Bremerton, WA 98311-9110. Phone: 360-649-8903 (mobile) or 360-692-9986. Fax 360-613-0726. Email:

Sampling of Key References Supporting Evidence Base for the Program

  1. Mason, W. A., Kosterman, R., Hawkins, J. D., Haggerty, K. P., Spoth, R. L., & Redmond, C. (2007). Influence of a family-focused substance use preventive intervention on growth in adolescent depressive symptoms. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 17, 541-564.  

  2. Kosterman, R., Hawkins, J. D., Spoth, R., Haggerty, K., & Zhu, K. (1997). Effects of a preventive parent training intervention on observed family interactions: Proximal outcomes from Preparing for the Drug Free Years. Journal of Community Psychology, 25, 277-292.  

  3. Spoth, R., Redmond, C., Haggerty, K., & Ward, T. (1995). A controlled parenting skills outcome study examining individual differences and attendance effects. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 57, 449-464.  

  4. Kosterman, R., & Hawkins, J.D. (1997). Effects of a preventive parent-training intervention on observed family interactions: Proximal outcomes from Preparing for the Drug Free Years. Journal of Community Psychology, 25, 337-352.

  5. Park, J., Kosterman, R., Hawkins, J. D., Haggerty, K.P., Duncan, T.E., Duncan, S.C., & Spoth, R. (2000). Effects of the “Preparing for the Drug Free Years"" curriculum on growth in alcohol use and risk for alcohol use in early adolescence. Prevention Science,1, 125-138.

  6. Spoth, R. L., Guyll, M., & Day, S. X., (2002). Universal family-focused interventions in alcohol-use disorder prevention: Cost effectiveness and cost-benefit analyses of two interventions. Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 63, 219-228.