Strong African American Families

Not sure if SAAF is a good fit for your community? Watch this brief video to learn the basics.

Program Type and Risk Level:

  • Universal prevention program for parents and youth to attend

Developed by:

  • Gene H. Brody, Ph.D. University of Georgia


Program Information:

  • SAAF is a seven-week culturally sensitive program for youth 10-14 and their parent/caregiver.


  • SAAF is a seven-week culturally sensitive program for youth 10-14 and their parent/caregiver. The program is intended universally for African American youth 10-14 and their parents/caregivers. Any family type is welcome including multiracial families.

Return on Investment:

  • A cost benefit analysis has not been completed on SAAF, however because of its similarity to the Strengthening Families Program: For Parents and Youth 10-14 (SFP 10-14) the cost benefit could be expected to be similar.  The following is the cost benefits for SFP 10-14:
    • Benefit to cost ratio=$3.84
    • Benefits minus cost =$3,160

Program Overview:

  • SAAF program is grounded in social bonding and control theories. The program is designed to strengthen family attachment and reduce the likelihood of youth problem behaviors including substance use.
  • Families attend a two hour session over seven consecutive weeks. Parents meet together with a facilitator in the first hour, while youth meet with their own facilitator. In the second hour families come back together.
  • Parent/caregiver topics cover parental monitoring, family communication, limit setting, parental school involvement, racial socialization, and clear expectations around sex and substance use. Youth sessions cover topics on goal setting, peer pressure resistance, racial socialization, family communication and expectations, and attitudes and perceptions about substance use.  Family sessions build on these topics.

Proven Research Outcomes:

  • Research on SAAF has had positive outcomes. Youth are less likely than the control group to initiate first time alcohol use, and youth who have used alcohol are less likely to show growth in alcohol use  . In addition, youth are less likely to become involved in conduct problems and are better able to handle stress, compared to the control group .  Youth in the study, compared to a control group, also had greater negative attitudes towards drug use and sexual activity, greater acceptance of parental influence, and greater peer pressure resistance skills


  • Training is three-day on site, and includes the program materials.  The cost for the training is $7,000 plus related travel costs.

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