Familias Fuertes

Program Type & Risk Level:

  • Family-based universal prevention program

Developed by:

  • Virginia Molgaard, Ph.D., Karol Kumpfer, Ph.D., and Elizabeth Fleming.


Program Information:

  • Familias Fuertes is an adaptation of the SFP 10-14 intended for Hispanic/Latino families. The modifications were originally adapted for Spanish speaking countries by the Pan American Health Organization. Modifications follow the overall SFP 10-14 model and is a seven-session program delivered over seven weeks for two and half hours each session. Parent(s) or caregiver(s) attend the program with their youth. Families share a meal together as they arrive, then adults and youth meet separately for one hour, and family comes together in the last hour.


  • The program is intended for Spanish speaking families with youth ages 10-14.

Program Overview:

  • Familias Fuertes is a skill based program. The program is designed to increase a positive parenting environment and improve caregiving practices in order to help prevent developing a range of behavior problems, including substance abuse. Parents learn through videos and discussion how to build a positive relationship with their youth, to set appropriate limits, and follow through on consequences, while showing love and support for their children. Youth are taught skills for dealing with stress, peer pressure and other personal and social interactions. Together, family members practice conflict resolution and communication skills and engage in activities designed to increase family cohesiveness and positive involvement.

Proven Research Outcomes:

  • The SFP 10-14 program has well documented, proven research outcomes. The Familias Fuertes adaptation has not had the same rigorous research. The following summarizes some research on the Familias Fuertes Program.
    • Orpinas et al. (2014) conducted a small study of immigrants to Georgia, and the results of parent and youth self-reports indicated an improvement in family relationships, increased family communication, increased use of positive discipline, and increased family time.
    • UNODC (2011) in a small non-experimental study, Panamanian families reported post-test improvements on youth self-reports of family problem solving, peer refusal skills, and future orientation. Parent self-reports at post also showed improvement on measures of family problem solving, parental expectations, and relationship quality.
    • Correa et al. (2012) in a quasi-experimental study of Chilean families found improvement in parenting practices at six month follow up. No effects in youth outcomes at six months.
    • Vasquez et al (2010) in a small non-experimental study in Honduras report at post-test youth reported higher self-esteem and improved parenting rules. Parents showed improvement in family relationships and parenting self-esteem.
    • In a small Texan study of a Hispanic population pre-post implementation, parents reported improved substance rules expectations and improved parental expectations. Youth reported improved peer resistance skills, improved parenting behaviors, and increased knowledge of parent rules around substance abuse (unpublished source).


  • Training is provided through Iowa State University by Spanish speaking professional trainers. Training is provided for facilitators that implement the program including two youth and one parent facilitator. Coordinators and fidelity observers are also trained in the curriculum. Training costs are $5,400 (plus an estimated $1,700 per trainer for travel) for 10-15 individuals.

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