Family Based Prevention of Alcohol and Risky Sex for Older Teens


Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation (PIRE)




Alcohol; Harmful Use
Sexual Aggression
Relation, Interpersonal
Alcohol Abstinence
Alcohol Intoxication
Alcohol Poison
Sex Behavior
Alcohol-Related Disorders
Alcohol Drinking
Alcohol Withdrawal
Alcohol Impairment
Sexual Harassment


Behavioral: Smart Choices 4 Teens

Study type


Funder types




Details and patient eligibility


An online, interactive web-based program for older teens and their parents is designed to address teen alcohol use and teen relationships. The parent-teen dyad both participate in the web-based program and engage in off-line discussion activities. This intervention promotes communication skills, refusal skills, and helps teens consider how to make healthy choices. A total of 411 family dyads (one parent, one teen) were recruited.

Full description

This purpose of this study is to develop an interactive, web-based prevention program for parents and older teens that focuses on teen use of alcohol and teen relationships. The study is designed as a randomized controlled trial. Specific Aim 1: To adapt two parent-based prevention strategies (Family Matters and Parent Handbook) to provide a family-based approach for addressing older teen alcohol related risk behaviors and sexual risk behaviors and sex in combination with alcohol use (hereafter called alcohol and/or sexual risk behaviors) using the web as the program delivery mode. Specific Aim 2: To test whether exposure to the program leads to expected changes in targeted teen beliefs and behaviors, including reductions in alcohol and/or sexual risk behaviors. Specific Aim 3: To examine whether program effects on teen alcohol and/or sexual risk behaviors are mediated through changes in intermediate program targeted beliefs (parents and teen) and behaviors (e.g., parent-teen--communication). Program fidelity and process measures may also mediate these outcomes. Phase I integrates and adapts the two parent-based approaches and creates a web-based interactive delivery of materials. Expert panels, focus groups, and usability assessments will inform the process. Phase II is an RCT with 400 families with the web-based intervention. Surveys will be conducted at baseline, and for three follow-up periods (6, 12, & 18 months). Analyses will examine teen outcomes related to alcohol and/or sexual risk behaviors. Changes in mediators directly impacted by the program for both teens and parents will be examined. Process and fidelity information will be collected and assessed. A web-based prevention strategy supporting parents and teens, is significant and timely. Parents and teens will use the internet to make health decisions. This program is uniquely different from other programs be-cause it addresses teens at high risk for alcohol and/or sexual risk behaviors. Further, the strategy involves both parents and teens through an interactive framework. The approach utilizes the strengths of Family Matters which promotes specific exercises and activities between parents and teens and the strengths of the Parent Handbook which addresses issues of importance to this age range.


411 patients




16 to 17 years old


Accepts Healthy Volunteers

Inclusion criteria

  • One parent and the teen both had to enroll in the study.

Exclusion criteria

  • Non-English speaking

Trial design

Primary purpose




Interventional model

Parallel Assignment


Single Blind

411 participants in 2 patient groups

Smart Choices 4 Teens
Experimental group
A web-based intervention consisting of 3 main components (Communication, Alcohol, Relationships) provided to both parents and teens was completed by parents and teens individually. At the end of each component, discussion guidelines were given to promote communications and to offer skill building practices between parent and teen regarding the component topic. Both the parent and teen were required to complete the component and discussion before moving to the next component. Numbers are provided for the number of families
Behavioral: Smart Choices 4 Teens
Control condition
No Intervention group
This group was provided with websites where information was available regarding the same topics.

Trial documents

Trial contacts and locations



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