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A program that provides feedback and skills training for parents can help reduce teen problem behavior, a new study has found. The program, called Family Check-Up, is short, requiring only about four-and-a-half hours, Science Daily reports.

The study included 593 seventh and eighth graders and their families, half of whom were randomly assigned to participate in the program. The researchers asked the students about their families’ interactions, and videotaped parents interacting with their children at home and school.

The researchers found the program reduced family conflict, parental monitoring, and teens’ antisocial behavior and alcohol use. Their findings appear in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

“Most adolescents with behavioral problems see professionals after they are in trouble instead of beforehand, which is why this program is unique; there are few preventive programs like it,” Garry Sigman, MD, Director of Adolescent Medicine at Loyola University Medical Center in Chicago, told Science Daily. He cautioned, “It requires either a school district willing to incur the time and financial costs of trained professionals or collaboration between schools and mental health professionals. In either case, most districts do not have funds or interest in this type of endeavor.”


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