Program Factsheet

Strengthening Families 10-14

The Strengthening Families Program: For Parents and Youth 10-14 (SFP 10-14) is a family skills training program for strengthening parenting skills, building family strengths, and preventing teen substance abuse and other behavior problems. SFP 10-14 brings together youth ages 10-14, parents, and families using realistic videos, role-playing, discussions, learning games, and family projects. Parents learn nurturing parenting skills, effective discipline, and positive ways to guide their youth. Youth gain a healthy future orientation, increased appreciation for their parents, and effective skills to deal with stress and peer pressure.


  • Family

Developmental Phases

  • Early Adolescence

Related Constructs


Key Links

Program Coordinator Cathy Hockaday, Ph.D. Strengthening Families for Parents and Youth 10-14 Extension 1087 Lebaron Hall Iowa State University Ames, IA 50011-4380 p. 515-294-7601 f. 515-294-5507

How it Operates

The Strengthening Families Program: For Parents and Youth 10-14 consists of seven sessions incorporating videos, role-play, discussions, learning games, and family projects. Parents and youth meet in separate groups for the first hour of each session and together as families during the second hour. The program is implemented with 8 to 13 families over the course of seven weeks. Up to four “booster” sessions can be held within 3 to 12 months after the basic sessions.

SFP 10-14 program sessions cover the following topics:

PARENT SESSIONS (First hour of each session) Using love and limits Making house rules Encouraging good behavior Using consequences Building bridges Protecting against substance abuse Using community resources

PARENT BOOSTER SESSIONS (First hour of each booster session) Handling stress Communicating when you don’t agree Reviewing love and limits skills Reviewing how to help with peer pressure

YOUTH SESSIONS (First hour of each session) Having goals and dreams Appreciating parents Dealing with stress Following rules Handling peer pressure I Handling peer pressure II Reaching out to others

YOUTH BOOSTER SESSIONS (First hour of each booster session) Handling conflict Making good friends Getting the message across Practicing our skills

FAMILY SESSIONS (Second hour of each session) Supporting goals and dreams Appreciating family members Using family meetings Understanding family values Building family communication Reaching our goals Putting it all together and graduation

FAMILY BOOSTER SESSIONS (Second hour of each booster session) Understanding each other Listening to each other Understanding family roles Using family strengths

Training Required

Certification by Strengthening Families Program Master Trainers is required to implement the SFP 10-14 program. Groups of at least three people per program site must receive training. This allows one facilitator to teach the parent group, two facilitators to teach the youth group, and all three facilitators work together with families during family sessions. SFP 10-14 training sessions are available nationally, though many of the training opportunities occur in Iowa. A “Training of Trainers” program is also available for individuals wanting the ability to train SFP 10-14 facilitators within their own organization or community. For more information about SFP 10-14 training options, including current price information, contact program administrators.

For training within Iowa, contact Carolyn Hoagland at 515-294-6222 or For training outside Iowa, contact Cathy Hockaday at 515-294-7601 or or view training information online.

SFP 10-14 implementation materials, including curriculum notebooks, DVDs/VHS tapes, informational brochures, and accessories, are available through the Iowa State University Extension Online Store. For more information about SFP 10-14 materials, including current cost information, contact program administrators or view ordering information online.

Sampling of Key References Supporting Evidence Base for the Program

  1. Aktan, G. (1999). A cultural consistency evaluation of a substance abuse prevention program with inner city African-American families. Journal-of-Primary-Prevention. 19, 227- 239.  

  2. Coombes, L., Allen, D., Marsh, M., & Foxcroft, D. (2009). The Strengthening Families Programme (SFP) 10-14 and substance misuse in Barnsley: the perspectives of facilitators and families. Child Abuse Review, 18, 41-59.  

  3. Redmond, C., Spoth, R., Shin, C., & Lepper, H. S. (1999). Modeling long-term parent outcomes of two universal family-focused preventive interventions: One-year follow-up results. Journal-of-Consulting-and-Clinical-Psychology, 6, 975-984.  

  4. Spoth, R., Redmond, C., & Shin, C. (1998). Direct and indirect latent-variable parenting outcomes of two universal family-focused preventive interventions: Extending a public health-oriented research base. Journal-of-Consulting-and-Clinical-Psychology, 66, 385-399.  

  5. Spoth, R., Redmond, C., & Lepper, H. (1999). Alcohol initiation outcomes of universal family- focused preventive interventions: One- and two-year follow-ups of a controlled study. Journal-of-Studies-on-Alcohol, 13,103-111.  

  6. Spoth, R., Redmond, C., Shin, C., & Huck, S. (1999). A protective process model of parent-child effective quality and child mastery effects on oppositional behaviors: A test and replication. Journal of School Psychology, 37, 49-71.  

  7. Spoth, R., Redmond, C., Shin, C., Lepper, H., Haggerty, K., Wall, M. (1998). Risk moderation of parent and child outcomes in a preventive intervention: A test and replication. American-Journal-of-Orthopsychiatry, 68, 565-579.