SafeKeeping Youth Study

This project tested the effectiveness of integrating and adapting two procedures for use in primary care pediatric clinics serving low-income youth: the Urgency Indicator (UI) - a screening tool for high risk of substance use (SU) prior to high school; and the Family Check-Up (FCU) - a brief, family-based program to prevent SU. The project had three aims: 1) to replicate the effectiveness of the UI screening tool in terms of concurrent and predictive validity and the engagement rate in the FCU; 2) to identify and address challenges in implementing and integrating the UI/FCU prevention strategy within a primary care clinic serving urban, low-income youth; and 3) to test the effectiveness of the UI/FCU on emerging SU, sexual activity, and conduct problems, as well as the putative mediators of outcomes including parenting and parental well-being. 

500 dyads of parents and their 10- to 13-year-old children from low-income, ethnically diverse families were recruited from primary care clinics serving low-income families in the Pittsburgh metropolitan area. This sample affords statistical power for effectiveness testing even in subgroups (e.g., age, gender, race).  The FCU was delivered for one or two years to test impact of dosage.  Participants were followed-up one year after completing FCU to evaluate longitudinal outcomes of the integrated UI/FCU.  In addition to traditional effectiveness estimates, analyses will test for mediators and moderators of UI/FCU outcomes. This approach represents a critical step toward a transformational advance in SU/SUD prevention by delivering intervention in a setting that offers fiscal self-sustainability, infrastructure for dissemination, and a venue for individualized intervention.