Project Family

In 1992-1993, a preliminary randomized, controlled efficacy study of the Preparing for the Drug Free Years (PDFY) preventive intervention was conducted. PDFY, a family-focused program designed to prevent adolescent substance abuse and other problem behaviors, had not previously been evaluated with a rural population. The pilot efficacy study included 209 families of 6th and 7th graders enrolled in rural schools in two Iowa counties. Multimethod, multi-informant measurement procedures were employed in the pre- and posttest assessments.

Initiated in 1993, Project Family's Initial Longitudinal Efficacy Trial includes an evaluation of two family-focused interventions designed to prevent adolescent substance abuse and other problem behaviors. The two interventions, Preparing for the Drug Free Years (now Guiding Good Choices) and the Iowa Strengthening Families Program (now Strengthening Families Program: For Parents and Youth 10-14), were delivered to families when their child was in the 6th grade. 667 families, recruited from 33 rural school districts in southern Iowa, participated in the trial pretest assessment. Subsequent assessments included 6th grade posttests and follow-up assessments when the adolescents were in the 7th, 8th, 10th, and 12th grades. Multimethod, multi-informant measurement procedures were employed for each wave of data collection.


Lillehoj, C. J., Spoth, R., & Trudeau, L. (2002). Rural teacher training. The Rural Educator, 24(1), 3-12.
Haggerty, K. P., Kosterman, R., Catalano, R. F., & Hawkins, J. D. (1999). Preparing for the Drug Free Years. OJJDP Family Strengthening Series, Juvenile Justice Bulletin, 12 pages. Washington, DC: U.S. Dept. of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Retrieved from
Spoth, R., & Molgaard, V. (1999). Project Family: A partnership integrating research with the practice of promoting family and youth competencies. In Serving Children and Families Through Community-University Partnerships: Success Stories (Vol. 1, pp. 127-137). New York: Springer Science & Business Media .
Spoth, R. (1998). Family-focused prevention intervention research: A pragmatic perspective on issues and future directions. In Drug Abuse Prevention Through Family Interventions. NIDA Research Monograph 177 (pp. 459-510). Rockville, MD: National Institute on Drug Abuse. Retrieved from