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Preventing Substance Misuse: Randomised Controlled Trial of the Strengthening Families 10-14 UK Programme


With collaborators at Swansea University and Oxford Brookes University, researchers at Cardiff University, in a collaboration between Cardiff Institute of Society, Health and Ethics, the South East Wales Trials Unit and the School of Social Sciences, have been successful in a bid to the National Prevention Research Initiative to conduct a randomised controlled trial of the Strengthening Families Programme 10-14 UK (SFP10-14).

The use of alcohol, tobacco and illegal drugs by young people impacts on their health in the short and long term, and is also associated with anti-social behaviour, crime and dropping out of school. Many of the factors which protect young people from misusing drugs and alcohol, or put them at greater risk of doing so, are linked to family life and parenting. The Strengthening Families Programme 10-14 UK (SFP10-14 UK) aims to strengthen these protective factors (parenting, family communication, and young people’s resilience skills) and simultaneously reduce key risk factors that are located within families.

Research in the United States has found some evidence that the SFP10-14 delays and reduces substance use (alcohol, tobacco and illegal drugs) by young people. This study will examine whether the results found in the US translate to a UK context, and will also address the methodological limitations of previous studies. It will identify whether the programme delays or reduces substance use, and collect information that will help in wider implementation of the programme if successful.

Aims of Project

The research will ascertain the impact of the SFP10-14UK on preventing alcohol and drug misuse, and smoking behaviour in adolescents.

It will answer a number of additional questions regarding other impacts of the SPF10-14 UK:

  • What impact does the SFP10-14UK have on protective factors for alcohol and tobacco use/misuse located in the family, such as family functioning, parenting and young people’s peer resistance skills?
  • What impact does the SFP10-14UK have on school performance, and mental health and well being?
  • What are the costs associated with the SFP10-14UK and to what extent can it be regarded as an efficient use of public funds?
  • How can SFP10-14UK best be implemented and is there important variation in delivery and receipt?


National Prevention Research Initiative. Preventing substance misuse: Randomised controlled trial of the strengthening families 10-14 UK programme. (Moore L, Segrott, Foxcroft D, Murphy S, Phillips C).

Project Value




Additional Information

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