Colorado PROFILES, The Colorado Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CCTSI)
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Adolescents with an addictive parent are at risk for a variety of problems including substance abuse, health problems, emotional problems and interpersonal problems. All of these factors may impact the adolescent's ability to be successful in school. Thus, many schools offer school-based support groups as an intervention for adolescents with addictive parent. However, there is no evidence to support the postulated benefits of support group participation. The purpose of this study is to conduct a formative evaluation of a school-based support group as a caring intervention for adolescents with an addictive parent. The specific aims of this study are: 1) to describe the profile of adolescents with an addictive parent examining characteristics of those who are and those who are not interested in a school-based support group; 2) to examine the group processes and critical features of school-based support groups; and 3) to evaluate the effects of school- based support group participation on five outcomes. A model of evaluation is proposed to examine the profile of group participants, group processes, and critical features by evaluating process recordings of screening session with all adolescents self-identified as having an addictive parent, and all support group sessions. A three group randomized sample with pretest posttest design using a sample of 150 adolescents participating in a school-based support group for adolescents with an addictive parent will examine the outcomes of support group participation. Five outcome hypotheses will be tested. After support group participation, support group participants will: 1) have increased knowledge regarding the impact of addiction on the family; 2) have improved relationships with family and friends; 3) have enhanced coping strategies; 4) demonstrate higher resiliency to their chaotic environment; 5) show improvement in scholastic performance. Multiple instruments have been selected to measure the outcomes. Data analysis will be content analysis of process recording, and repeated measures Analysis of Variance of outcomes. The influence of concurrent therapies, previous group participation, and unequal attrition will be dealt with by blocking variables. Findings from this study will be used to refine the model for a larger multiple site study regarding the impact of school-based support groups as a caring intervention for adolescents with an addictive parent.
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