Strong African American Families Teen Program

The Strong African American Families – Teen Program (SAAF-T) is a 5 session program designed for teens aged 14 – 16 and their caregivers. The goal of SAAF-T is to build on the strengths of African American families in order promote positive development throughout the teenage years. SAAF-T focuses on reducing risks that can get in the way of positive development, with a focus on reducing substance abuse and sexual risk-taking that can lead to HIV and other STIs.

Teen Topics

  • Likes, Choices, and Goals
  • Money, Jobs, and the Future
  • Job Choices, Pay, and Education
  • Choices and Consequences about Sex
  • Goals for the Future and Barriers to Goals

Caregiver Topics

  • Parenting Teens
  • Helping Teens Move toward Adulthood
  • Caregivers’ Involvement in School
  • Helping Teens with Peer Pressure and Temptations
  • Helping Teens Succeed in School

Family Topics

  • Building Strong African American Families
  • Getting Along Away from Home and at Home
  • Getting Ahead in the World
  • Helping Teens Succeed in School
  • Appreciating Each Other and Reaching Goals

Compared to teens that did not participate in the SAAF-T Program, teens who did participate:

  • Demonstrated fewer conduct problems
  • Had less frequent substance use
  • Had fewer substance use problems
  • Experienced reduced depressive symptoms
  • Decreased frequency of unprotected intercourse
  • Increased condom efficacy


Caregivers experienced improved caregiving practices such as enhanced:

  • Communication about risky behavior
  • Problem solving between parents and teens
  • Parental monitoring
  • Support for teen’s academic engagement
  • Racial socialization practices including instilling racial pride and teaching strategies for dealing with discrimination

Testimonies from SAAF-T Participants: What did you learn in the SAAF-T Programs?

Teen Responses:

  • How to make better decisions when it comes to sex, relationships and money management.
  • How to handle problems I might have and who to talk to about these problems.
  • How to make my own decisions and what it’s like to pay your own bills.
  • I understand that there can be serious consequences to having sex.
  • I learned new things about what you should know about having sex and dealing with peer pressure.

Parent/Caregiver Responses:

  • I liked meeting other parents of teens and learning that we all experience the same things.
  • The program helped me learn that you have to be a good listener. You have to be an askable parent.
  • The experience taught me to be more open-minded with my son and how we could sit down and discuss problems openly.
  • I learned how to talk to my teen and educate him about sex and STDs.
  • My daughter and I have always been close but being a part of this session has truly brought us closer.

Featured SAAF Articles

Integrating Condom Skills Into Family-Centered Prevention: Efficacy of the Strong African American Families-Teen Program

Family-centered Program Deters Substance Use, Conduct Problems ,and Depressive Symptoms in Black Adolescents

Watch the SAAF-Teen promotional video:

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