Since the initiation of the
Institute projects in late 1991, a number of key results and conclusions have emerged
that address several Institute goals.
Literature reviews conducted for
Project Family reveal that preventive interventions for families and youth
are widely disseminated, but rarely subjected to rigorous evaluation.
family-focused interventions can positively change parenting behaviors
directly targeted by the interventions which, in turn, positively influence
parent-child affective quality and child management practices.
family-focused interventions can reduce adolescent substance use and other
conduct problems, as long as four years following baseline, with changes in
substance-use trajectories evident as long as six years past baseline.
interventions for general populations can be cost effective in preventing
lifetime alcohol disorders, yielding considerable returns on dollars invested.
Family participation factors
Parents consider teen problem behaviors
to be serious, but often believe their own children to be at low risk for
developing such problems.
prevention programs for families as beneficial and research on such programs
as worthwhile--the primary barriers to their participation are practical ones,
such as time demands and schedule conflicts.
Successfully engaging families in brief preventive interventions requires
effective community partnerships and substantial resources for recruitment and
Strategies for diffusion of interventions
partnerships assisted by the Land Grant University Extension System have
enhanced the quality of research on universal, evidence-based
intervention adoption, participation, and implementation adherence
Partnership-based outcome studies have helped to expand
knowledge and evidence base concerning universal youth and family
Currently, research on partnership processes and outcomes is
aiding researchers in moving toward a better understanding of how
partnerships can serve ongoing, quality implementation of evidence-based
Needs assessment research
- The level of need for preventive
interventions in Iowa varies with household sociodemographic factors, such as
family structure, as indicated by measures of survey respondent risk and
assessment data can be useful in guiding plans for state-funded
prevention service delivery.
Manuscripts and publications produced since 1993 have
covered a wide range of family-focused preventive intervention research topics
and issues related to each of the four areas listed above. Key work has
included the development and testing of models of family processes that
influence a range of parent and youth outcomes, as well as models of factors
influencing family engagement in interventions.
Methodological issues also have
been addressed, including alternative methods for calculating optimal sample
sizes, structural equation and logistic growth-curve modeling applications to
the evaluation of preventive intervention outcomes, application of consumer
research methods to examine family engagement in preventive interventions and
graphical technique applications to preventive intervention research.
Finally, a number of recent
manuscripts address science-practice integration, including issues associated
with high-quality program implementation. One of these describes the
development of an Extension-based partnership model for diffusion of
empirically-supported preventive interventions through
community-school-university collaborations. Other recent articles
summarize critical research tasks required for increasing the public health
impact of family-focused interventions.