First Presenter's Institution

NA

Second Presenter's Institution

NA

Location

Ballroom F

Strand #1

Family & Community

Strand #2

Mental & Physical Health

Relevance

The Center for Family Research (CFR) specializes in developing strengths based family-centered programming. The Strong African American Families (SAAF) Program focuses on enhancing youth resistance skills to avoid drug, alcohol, tobacco use and early sexual involvement. SAAF is a proven program that helps youth between the ages of 10-14 avoid these risky behaviors. CFR also recognized the need for a program focused on older teens and developed the Strong African American Families-Teen (SAAF-T) Program for adolescents between the ages of 14-16. The goal of SAAF-T is to prevent adolescent problem behaviors, particularly those most associated with HIV/AIDS risk. The SAAF and SAAF-T Programs have goals and activities that reflect the conference “health” strand to enhance the well-being of youth and protect them from the negative consequences associated with risky behaviors (e.g., substance abuse, early onset of sexual involvement and unprotected sex). Themes from the SAAF and SAAF-T Programs also incorporate components of the “home” conference strand in that parents and caregivers are included in the program design. Program sessions include content to support caregiver involvement in their child’s life as well as to support effective communication and parenting skills. In SAAF and SAAF-T sessions families also work together to explore program themes and content.

Brief Program Description

Interventionists from CFR will present on the research and proven outcomes of the SAAF Programs that help African American youth avoid risky behaviors associated with drugs, alcohol and sexual involvement. The interactive presentation is relevant to professionals working with this population and will include information from development to dissemination of the SAAF Programs and the core values that guide them.

Summary

The Center for Family Research (CFR) is dedicated to gathering high-quality information from rural African American families in Georgia. CFR focuses on the strengths of these families and communities that allow children to thrive. The mission of CFR is to do research that makes a difference in the lives of African Americans and use research findings to develop family-based programs.

The first program to be developed and tested by CFR is the Strong African American Families (SAAF) Program. SAAF is a culturally tailored, family-centered intervention for 10-14 year-old African American youth and their caregivers. In 2001, the SAAF research trial was funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

In 2007, CFR received a grant from the National Institute of Drug Abuse to develop a curriculum for older teens. This funding allowed the CFR to adapt relevant SAAF content for older teens as well as to integrate HIV/AIDS prevention components. The Strong African American Families-Teen (SAAF-T) Program is designed for African American teenagers aged 14-16 and their caregivers. Intervention families participated in a 5-week family skills training program that included an optional condom skills unit. Each session had separate, concurrent modules for caregivers and teens, followed by a joint caregiver-teen session.

Interventionists from CFR will present on the mission of the Center and the background and development of the SAAF and SAAF-T Programming. The presentation will share information about how these programs are currently being disseminated across the county. The presentation will also include information on the way in which CFR programs are developed and tested and how the CFR core values influence the development, implementation and dissemination of CFR programming. Select program activities will be implemented with conference attendees to demonstrate how the SAAF Programs work to achieve desired outcomes.

Evidence

Both the SAAF and SAAF-T Programs are evidence based curriculums. The SAAF Program was tested with African American 11-year olds and their primary caregivers who were randomly selected from public school lists of fifth grade students and randomly assigned to an intervention or control condition. Of the total sample of 667 families, 369 were randomly assigned to the intervention as described above. Families in the control group received information about early adolescent development, stress management and other health issues via mail. All families completed in-home pretest, post-test, and long-term follow-up interviews during which parent-report and self-report data regarding conduct problems, low self- control, deviance-prone peer affiliations, parenting and youth protective processes were gathered.

Brody, G. H., Chen, Y., Kogan, S. M., Murry, V. M., & Brown, A. C. (2010). Long-term effects of the Strong African American Families program on youths’ alcohol use. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 78(2), 281-285.

The following are the major findings from the SAAF research trial:

Compared to participants who did not participate in SAAF:

  • Youth who participated in SAAF
    • Demonstrated fewer conduct problems
    • Were less likely to start using drugs
    • Delayed the onset of sexual activity
  • Parents/Caregivers who participated in SAAF
    • Reported less maternal depression
    • Reported higher levels of positive racial identity

The SAAF-T Program was tested with sixteen year old African American youth and their primary caregivers who were assigned either to participate in SAAF-T or an attention control intervention. SAAF-T was evaluated as part of the Rural African American Families Health (RAAFH) research study. Researchers recruited 502 families living in rural counties in Georgia and 252 were randomly assigned to the intervention (SAAF-T) as described above. The families assigned to the attention control group were invited to participate in a 5-week program designed to promote healthy behaviors among adolescents by encouraging good nutrition, exercise and informed consumer behavior. All families completed in-home pretest, post-test, and long-term follow-up interviews during which adolescents reported on their sexual behavior, condom use, and condom efficacy.

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.

The following are the major findings from the SAAF-T research trial:

Compared to participants who did not participate in SAAF-T:

  • Teens who participated in SAAF-T had
    • Fewer conduct problems
    • Less frequent substance use
    • Fewer substance use problems
    • Reduced depressive symptoms
    • Decreased frequency of unprotected intercourse
    • Increased condom efficacy
  • Parents/Caregivers who participated in SAAF-T experienced improved protective caregiving practices which included enhanced
    • Communication about risky behavior
    • Problem solving between parent and youth
    • Parental Monitoring
    • Support for youth’s academic engagement
    • Racial socialization practices including instilling racial pride and teaching strategies for dealing with discrimination

Format

Individual Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Megan Sperr serves as the Intervention Coordinator at the University of Georgia’s Center for Family Research. She planned and coordinated the implementation of the SAAF-T Program during the original research trial and has also worked on several research projects that have incorporated the implementation of the SAAF Program. Ms. Sperr currently oversees the dissemination efforts for the SAAF-T Program in addition to coordinating the intervention portion of the Protecting Strong African American Families Project which is an intervention designed for African American couples and their 10-13 year old child. Ms. Sperr has a Master’s degree in Public Administration.

Dr. Tracy Anderson serves as the Assistant Director at the University of Georgia’s Center for Family Research where she oversees the Recruitment, Data Collection and Intervention Units. She provided oversight to the implementation of the SAAF and SAAF-T Programs during the original research trials. In subsequent years she has worked on four additional research projects that have incorporated the implementation of the SAAF program. Dr. Anderson currently oversees all SAAF Dissemination activities which include promoting the program, coordinating SAAF trainings, training organizations on the SAAF Program, and tracking the ongoing implementation of the program from sites that have been trained. In addition to her work on the SAAF Programs, Dr. Anderson is a co-author for the Protecting Strong African American Families Program, which is currently being tested at CFR. She has a PhD in Adult Education.

Keyword Descriptors

Prevention, Intervention, Youth, African American, Substance Use, HIV/AIDS, Dissemination, Parental Involvement, Family Programs, Peer Pressure Resistance

Presentation Year

2016

Start Date

3-9-2016 9:45 AM

End Date

3-9-2016 11:00 AM

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Mar 9th, 9:45 AM Mar 9th, 11:00 AM

Strong African American Families Programming: From Development to Dissemination

Ballroom F

Interventionists from CFR will present on the research and proven outcomes of the SAAF Programs that help African American youth avoid risky behaviors associated with drugs, alcohol and sexual involvement. The interactive presentation is relevant to professionals working with this population and will include information from development to dissemination of the SAAF Programs and the core values that guide them.