Alcohol Education Guide
to Reducing Harmful Drinking

Strong African American Families (SAAF)



Developer: University of Georgia, Center for Family Research

Program Overview: The Strong African American Families (SAAF) program aims to prevent the initiation of risky behaviors (drug abuse, alcohol consumption, sexual activity) among African American adolescents.

Program Design: SAAF is designed for 11-12 year old African American adolescents and their mothers, living in rural areas. The program is designed to strengthen protective behaviors of youth and their parent. Program content is delivered at community centers once a week for 7 weeks. Weekly sessions were divided into three separate sessions: a youth session, a parent session, and a combined session. Each session lasts approximately one hour and youth and parent sessions were delivered concurrently. The curriculum of each session is described below:

  1. Youth only session: youth sessions used a combination of videos, activities, and discussion to teach youth the importance of household rules, adaptive behaviors to use when confronted with racism, goal setting, correct social norms regarding peer alcohol consumption and drug use, and self-efficacy
  2. Parent only session: parent sessions used videos and guided discussions to teach involved parenting, parental monitoring and control, adaptive racial socialization, and strategies for communicating about sexual activity and expectations regarding alcohol consumption
  3. Combined family session: this second session reinforces the curricula learned by the youth and parents by practicing the skills they have been taught

Evaluation: This study was conducted across 8 rural counties in Georgia. 4 counties were randomly assigned to the control and 4 to the intervention group. Lists of 11-year olds in each county were used to randomly select families for participation. Families participating in the trial completed pre, post, and follow-up questionnaires. These questionnaires addressed parenting behaviors, adolescent protective factors, and alcohol consumption initiation, frequency, and heavy consumption.

Key findings2A long-term follow up of this program evaluation showed that at 65 month follow up there were statistically significant differences in past 30 day alcohol consumption between control and intervention youth.

  • Students who participated in the SAAF program reported drinking half as often as youth in the control group

Program Website: www.cfr.uga.edu


1. Brody, G. H., McBride Murry, V., Gerrard, M., Gibbons, F. X., Molgaard, V., McNair, L., et al. (2004).The Strong African American Families program: Translating research into prevention programming. Child Development, 75(3), 900-917.

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

Target Audience: Middle school (10-14 years), Parents
Issues: Underage Drinking
Setting: School clubs or community organizations
Approach: Life Skills
Prev     Next