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Family Wellness

Strengthening Families Program

Family interactions, particularly those of parents and siblings, have a significant impact on a youth willingness engage in high risk behaviors. Parents want to protect their children, but it’s challenging. Youth need skills to help them resist the peer pressure that leads to risky behaviors. Research shows that protective parenting improves family relationships and decreases the level of family conflict, contributing to lower levels of substance use.

Hampton-Newport News Community Services Board Prevention Services Program offers the two versions of the Strengthening Families Program. Strengthening Families Program is designed to reducing substance abuse and delinquency risk factors by improving family relationships and resilience. These programs address youth’s aggressive or withdrawn behavior, negative peer influence, lack of pro-social goals and poor relationship with parents. To build upon youth’s ability for positive future orientation, peer pressure resistance skills, positive management of emotions and empathy with parents.

Some outcomes of each Strengthening Families Program include:

  • Youth attending the program had significantly lower rates of alcohol, tobacco and marijuana use compared to control youth.
  • Youth attending the program had significantly fewer conduct problems in school than youth in the control group.
  • Parents showed gains in specific parenting skills including setting appropriate limits and building a positive relationship with their youth.
  • Parents showed an increase in positive feelings towards their child.
  • Parents show gains on general child management including setting rules and following through with consequences.
  • Parents increase skills in general child management such as effectively monitoring youth and having appropriate and consistent discipline.


HNNCSB Preventions Services is a division of the Hampton/Newport News Community Services Board.