Alcohol Education Guide
to Reducing Harmful Drinking

Strengthening Familes Program (SFP)



Developer: Dr. Karol L. Kumpfer; Iowa State University

Program Overview: This program, originally developed in the 1980's, aims to reduce behavioral, emotional, academic, and social problems among young people, especially those from high risk families.

Program Design: SFP attempts to achieve these goals by strengthening family connections and supports. While the program is school-based in also includes a parent component. The curriculum aims to strengthen the family environment by improving communication, encouraging positive interactions, and teaching discipline.

Children skill training includes:

  • Communication skills
  • Resilience skills
  • Problem solving
  • Peer resistance
  • Feeling identification
  • Anger management
  • Coping skills

Parental training includes:

  • Positive interactions with children
  • Enhanced family communication
  • Effective family meetings
  • Consistent discipline

Program materials have been expanded and adapted to additional target age groups, different high risk populations, and vary cultural contexts.

For more information on cultural adaptation click here.

Evaluation: SFP has been evaluated by numerous studies and in varying contexts over the past 30 years. The program now has standardized protocols for process and outcome evaluations. For more information click here.

Key findings1A meta-analysis of the long term effects of SFP found consistent effects for three main alcohol-related outcomes 3 years after the program. Positive effects were demonstrated for lifetime measures of:

  • Alcohol consumption
  • Consumption of alcohol without parental permission
  • Episodes of drunkenness

Program Website: www.strengtheningfamiliesprogram.org


1. Foxcroft, D. R., Ireland, D., Lister-Sharp, D. J., Lowe, G., & Breen, R. (2003). Longer-term primary prevention for alcohol misuse in young people: A systematic reviewAddiction, 98(4), 397-411.

A more comprehensive list of resources related to the SFP can be found here

Target Audience: Elementary school (10 years and younger), High school (15-18 years old), Middle school (10-14 years), Parents
Issues: Underage Drinking
Setting: Family and home environments, Schools
Approach: Life Skills
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