Study shows family solution to teen troubles

January 6, 2012 By April Sorrow, University of Georgia

( -- How do you keep at-risk teens off drugs and out of trouble? According to a new University of Georgia study, family can make a difference.

"Parents think as children get older they need less from them, but the opposite is true," said Gene Brody, director of the UGA Center for Family Research. "Caregivers need to understand it is appropriate for adolescents to spend time away from them, but they still need to know what they are doing and who they are spending their time with."

For his recent study, Brody worked with 502 black families living in rural Georgia. His results show that participation in family-centered preventative intervention reduces conduct problems and by more than 30 percent.

Historically, rural teens lag behind urban dwellers in rates of drug use and , but recently that gap has closed. In some cases rural teens are acting out more often than their city peers. can help teens cope with these problems.

Brody, along with the UGA Center for Family Research, focuses on developing preventative programs for African-American families in . Through previous studies, they have identified parenting practices that decrease drug use and . Those practices, such as instilling a sense of racial pride and supporting , were incorporated into their most recent study.

The was delivered to 16-year-old African Americans and their caregivers during five two-hour sessions. Caregivers received instruction on monitoring and control; guidance for dealing with racism, establishing norms and expectations; academic support; and cooperative problem solving. Adolescents were taught the importance of having and following family rules, strategies for coping with racism, the value of and guidelines for forming and attaining academic and career goals.

"In other research with this population, we've seen exposure to high levels of discrimination forecast later drug use and risky behaviors," Brody said. "Discrimination makes adolescents feel badly and sometimes they cope with those feeling through ."

A second group of teens attended classes on exercise and nutrition but didn't receive information about substance abuse and behavior issues. Each group included 250 teenagers and their primary caregivers.

Teens reported their marijuana, cigarette and alcohol use, symptoms of depression and behavioral problems both before the sessions began and 22 months later. Adolescents who attended the program reported 30 percent fewer conduct incidents. About half as many had drug and alcohol problems as the comparison group. They also had slightly fewer depression symptoms.

"Armed with a few skills, the likelihood of [the teens] succeeding and maintaining good relationships increases," he said.

Brody's research could impact the 15 million black families living in the rural southern coastal plain that stretches from South Carolina to Louisiana, one of the most economically disadvantaged areas in the U.S.

"We have shown that 10 hours of family-centered prevention programming can be effective in deterring behavioral, substance abuse and emotional problems among black adolescents across a period of almost 2 years," he said.

Brody's work was published in the December 2011 issue of Pediatrics.

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2 / 5 (16) Jan 06, 2012
I noticed the author frequently refers to them as "black families". Not exactly PC there.

Also, this is no surprise. Of course strong families are the cornerstone of stable children. We have known this for thousands of years. Not all families are perfect. In fact, some are detrimental to their children's development but overall "family time" goes a long way to stabilizing a child as they mature into adulthood.
4.2 / 5 (12) Jan 06, 2012
What a shame that American Capitalism has destroyed the American Family by turning both parents in to wage slaves who have no time to properly socialize their children.

"Of course strong families are the cornerstone of stable children. We have known this for thousands of years." - Xbw
1.7 / 5 (12) Jan 06, 2012
It's too bad the govt takes so much in taxes which force both parents to work.
But according to 'progressives' it takes a village.
1.7 / 5 (12) Jan 07, 2012
"When Daniel Patrick Moynihan wrote his report on the declining health of the black family in America, few authorities took his warning seriously -- except his boss, President Lyndon Johnson. Largely influenced by Moynihan's work, Johnson's "Great Society" swelled a small government bureaucracy of 45 domestic social programs to a leviathan of 435 by the end of his administration. Yet for all this "help," things have only gotten worse since then. What can be done?"
"Spouses are entering the work force to help make ends meet, and they raise total family income by about one-third. Yet these families must also pay almost 28 percent of their income to the federal government. In effect, mothers are having to work just to pay off Washington."
3.8 / 5 (10) Jan 07, 2012
"It's too bad the govt takes so much in taxes which force both parents to work." - RyggTard

Government takes nothing from you Tard Boy. You give up your taxes willingly. It is the price you are willing to pay to be part of American society. You always have the choice to leave.

You don't.

You don't because you feel that the price you pay is worth the benefits you receive.

You are like a whining little retard who doesn't want to do his chores.

Shut the fuck up. You worthless Loser.
3.7 / 5 (10) Jan 07, 2012
When Daniel Patrick Moynihan wrote his report on the declining health of the black family in America, few authorities took his warning seriously -- except his boss, President Lyndon Johnson." - RyggTard

You are entitled to your own Quack Tard beliefs, but not to your own facts.

You still haven't answered the question Tard Boy. Why did your anti-welfare hero - Ayn Rand - decide become a welfare queen?
5 / 5 (9) Jan 07, 2012
@ V D

Would you please stop using such unnessasary language please its completely unnessasary and not funny.

Thank You!
1.6 / 5 (7) Jan 07, 2012
Hey Vendicar-DoucheNugget or w/e the fuck your name is. You sure think you're tough shit on the internet huh? I guess you didn't take history in school, or for that matter, went to school at all? I can tell by your immaturity and pathetic excuse for what you must call your "vocabulary". It's funny how weak people express themselves on the internet, isn't it everyone else? Anyways, since you're posts serve no purpose at all, I'm going to continue with the normal-people discussion.
I nearly fully agree with what most people are saying here, taxes and prices and just a terrible economy in general are whats causing this need for the second parent to work as well. But that's what happens when oil is a hot commodity and people are working as bankers and accountants rather than farmers and builders. Just my opinion though, I like this topic very much.
4 / 5 (8) Jan 08, 2012
"It's funny how weak people express themselves on the internet, isn't it everyone else?" - RJ11


Average American purchasing power - excluding the upper 1 percent who now own 23 percent of American wealth, peaked in 1972, and it has been down hill from there on, declining almost 10 percent in the last thee years alone.

Like Bushie said to that mother of 2 who was working 3 part time jobs to support her family. America is such a wonderful nation of opportunity that it can supply that mother with three wonderful jobs.

Isn't Conservative Free Market economics amazing?

4 / 5 (8) Jan 08, 2012
Actually, it was completely necessary.

"please its completely unnessasary" - MarkyMark

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