Skills Training for Parents and Teens to Improve the Transition to High School This is a proposal to conduct a five-year experimental test of the efficacy of Boys Town's Common Sense Parenting(R) (CSP) program targeted toward a selective sample of 8th-grade students to improve the transition to high school. Both the standard program and a modified version that is supplemented with materials piloted by the Social Development Research Group from the Stepping Up to High School (SUTHS) curriculum will be evaluated. Based on social learning principles, CSP is a widely used parent-training preventive intervention that seeks to improve family management and family interactions, as well as reduce child problem behaviors. Based on the social development model, SUTHS is comprised of two family-focused sessions designed to improve the transition to high school by reducing risks for substance use, delinquency, HIV-related risky sex behavior, and school failure. The move to high school is a critical developmental transition that presents significant challenges to teens and their families, especially among students who are at-risk for school failure. The end of middle school, therefore, provides an important window of opportunity for intervention;however, few prevention programs are tailored to address the transition to high school among students who are demographically at risk for school failure. CSP and CSP+SUTHS represent promising family-based prevention programs for facilitating successful entry into high school. Eligible families will be randomly assigned to one of three conditions: a standard CSP program condition, a modified CSP plus SUTHS program condition, and a minimal contact control condition. This will provide a rigorous test of the standard CSP curriculum, which currently is being widely disseminated by Boys Town, while also allowing the examination of a modified version that provides potential enhancements for targeting the developmental transition from middle school to high school. Seeking to improve the transition to high school among students at risk for school failure and dropout helps fill a critical programming need and holds promise for reducing the significant costs associated with substance use and related problem behaviors.
Skills Training for Parents and Teens to Improve the Transition to High School This project will test a widely disseminated prevention program, Common Sense Parenting(R), targeted toward a high risk sample of 8th-grade students to improve the transition to high school and reduce substance use and related problem behaviors. The standard program and a modified version that includes materials from the Stepping Up to High School curriculum will be evaluated, comparing the programs against one another and against a control condition. These programs, if effective, have potential for widespread and sustained dissemination through Boys Town, a large and long-standing service organization.
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