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Evidence-Based Programs

All Evidence-Based Programs

STRIVE (Support to Reunite, Involve & Value Each Other)

Overview of the Intervention

STRIVE is a five-session family-based intervention intended to reduce sexual risk behaviors, substance use, and delinquency among youth (ages 12-17 years) who have recently run away from home. The five sessions require participation from both the adolescent and at least one parent, and are designed in part to improve family functioning and reduce family conflict. They are delivered individually to each family by a trained facilitator, either in a community setting or in the family’s home. The intervention is grounded in cognitive-behavioral and family systems theories and stresses the importance of establishing a positive family climate to reduce the risk of chronic homelessness and associated adolescent risk behaviors.

Intervention Components

Component 1: Individual Sessions

The five intervention sessions are delivered individually to each family on a weekly basis. Each session lasts 90 to 120 minutes and involves a series of interactive, semi-structured tasks. The topics covered are as follows:

  • Session 1: Participants are encouraged to create a positive family atmosphere and to make a commitment to the program and not running away from home. Families learn how to anticipate, identify, and plan for situations and events that may trigger the adolescent to run away.
  • Session 2: Participants learn and practice problem-solving skills. Families are encouraged to develop a positive family environment by prioritizing problems and solving them as a team.
  • Session 3: Participants learn how to analyze and frame problems, and how to articulate the intentions behind their behaviors. The session also provides factual information about HIV risk among runaway and homeless youth.
  • Session 4: This session focuses on coping and negotiation skills. Families learn strategies to cope with stressful situations and how to negotiate solutions. They practice applying these skills to their real-world problems.
  • Session 5: In this session, families apply what they have learned in prior sessions to solve an ongoing family conflict. The facilitator observes the discussion and provides feedback on the process.
  • Theoretical Framework

    Study Citation: Milburn, N. G., Iribarren, F. J., Rice, E., Lightfoot, M., Solorio, R., Rotheram-Borus, M., Desmond, K., Lee, A., Alexander, K., Maresca, K., Eastmen, K., Arnold, E. M., & Duan, N. (2012). A family intervention to reduce sexual risk behavior, substance use, and delinquency among newly homeless youth. Journal of Adolescent Health, 50(4), 358–364.

    Study setting: Community settings in Los Angeles and San Bernardino Counties, California.

    Study Sample: 151 newly homeless adolescents ages 12 to 17 years and their families

  • Mean age of adolescents was 15 years
  • 66% of the adolescents were female and 34% were male
  • 62% of the adolescents were Hispanic and 21% were African American
  • Study Design: Randomized controlled trial. Newly homeless adolescents were recruited on a rolling basis over a three-year period through community-based organizations and study flyers and advertisements. About half were randomly selected to receive the STRIVE intervention and half were selected for a control group that received only referral services. Surveys were administered before the intervention (baseline) and at follow-ups conducted 3, 6, and 12 months after the intervention.

    Study Rating: The study met the review criteria for a moderate study rating. It did not meet the review criteria for a high study rating because it had high sample attrition.

    Study Findings:

    Twelve months after the intervention:

  • Adolescents participating in the intervention reported having significantly fewer sexual partners in the previous three months.
  • The study found no statistically significant program impacts on measures of vaginal or anal sex, unprotected sex, or frequency of sex in the previous three months.
  • Findings from the three- and six-month follow-ups were not considered for the review because they did not meet the review evidence standards. Specifically, both the three- and six-month follow-ups had a high rate of sample attrition, and the study did not establish baseline equivalence for the remaining sample members.

    The study also examined program impacts on measures of substance use and delinquent behaviors. Findings for these outcomes were not considered for this review because the outcomes fell outside the scope of the review.

    Curriculum Materials

    A detailed description of the intervention sessions and a list of materials required are available in the STRIVE facilitator manual.

    Training and TA: The intervention sessions are administered by trained STRIVE facilitators.

    Additional Information

    TPP Resource Center: Evidence-Based Programs