Scroll to top

Web-Based Substance Use Prevention for Adolescent Girls


The Web-based, substance use prevention program for mother-daughter dyads is designed to change risk and protective factors through mother-daughter interactions.

The 9-session program includes animated graphics and interactive exercises, and covers the following topics: mother-daughter relationship, conflict management, substance use opportunities, body image, mood management, stress management, problem solving, social influences, and self-efficacy. Two additional booster sessions at annual follow up points revisit these topics. Girls and mothers have separate and unique logins and passwords for each session (approx. duration of 45 minutes).


Theoretical Approaches:
Family Interaction Theory

Target Substance(s):
Prescription Drugs

Target Outcomes:
Mother-daughter communication
Mother-daughter closeness
Alcohol Use
Family rules
Parental monitoring
Body Self-esteem
Depression coping ability
Normative beliefs
Refusal self-efficacy
Past Month Use

Adolescents (11-17)
Young Adults (18-30)
Adults (30+)


African American

Remote access

Geographic Location:



  • Computer-delivered, parent-involvement intervention to prevent substance use among adolescent girls.

    Schinke SP, Fang L, Cole KC. Computer-delivered, parent-involvement intervention to prevent substance use among adolescent girls. Preventive Medicine. 2009. 49(5):429-435. PMCID: PMC2783411.

    Summary: In this randomized controlled trial, participants were recruited via online, newspaper, community and radio advertisements. Nine-hundred and sixteen eligible mother-child dyads were randomly assigned to an intervention (Internet for 84%/ CD-rom for 16%: n=458) and a no-test control condition (n=458). All participants completed baseline, as well as two annual follow-up data collections that lasted approximately 45 minutes each. Intervention arm participants received monetary incentives following baseline data collection and annual booster sessions, which took place after each follow-up. Control arm participants also received incentives for completing follow up assessments only.

    Retention rates were high across groups (91%) at 2-year follow-up. No outcome differences were observed between the two delivery vehicles (Internet or CD-ROM) at either annual follow-up. By Year 2, girls who received the prevention program showed significantly higher positive changes than their control counterparts on 18 of 21 measured variables, including fewer occasions of use of alcohol, marijuana, prescriptions for non-medical purposes, and inhalants, as well as intentions to use alcohol, tobacco or drugs in the future (exceptions were body image, depression, past-30 day use of cigarettes). Mothers in the intervention reported better 2-year follow-up outcomes compared with controls on all measures (observance of family rituals, communication with daughters, establishment of family rules regarding substance use, monitoring out-of-home activities, and personal weekly alcohol consumption).

    Take Away: There is strong empirical support for this computer-delivered, substance abuse prevention program designed for mother-daughter dyads.

    Related Study:

    Preventing substance use among adolescent girls: 1-year outcomes of a computerized, mother-daughter program.

    Schinke SP, Fang L, Cole KC. Addictive Behaviors. 2009. 34(12):1060-1064. PMCID: PMC2741484.

    Summary: This study reports the 1-year follow up results of a randomized controlled trial. Study participants were 591 eligible pairs of adolescent girls and their mothers (recruited via online, newspaper, community and radio advertisements) who were randomly assigned to the 9-session, Web-based intervention (n=252) and a no-intervention control condition (n=339). All participants completed pre- and post-intervention measures, as well as a 1-year follow-up measurement. Dyads in both conditions received monetary incentives for completion of outcome measures.

    At post-intervention and 1-year follow-ups, girls in the intervention group, as compared to the control group, demonstrated better outcomes on all past-month substance use measures, as well as on communication, family rules, monitoring, perceptions of peer drug use as normative behavior, and ability to refuse peer pressure. The groups did not differ on depression, problem solving, or body esteem. Relative to mothers in the control group, mothers in the intervention group reported significantly better outcomes on measures of communication with their daughters, rules against their daughters’ substance use, and monitoring of their daughters’ out-of-home activities.

    Take Away: This computer-delivered, parent-involvement substance use prevention program may lead to positive changes in girls and their mothers by reducing the risks of substance use and increasing protections against future substance use.

  • Preventing substance use among early Asian-American adolescent girls: Initial evaluation of a web-based, mother-daughter program.

    Fang L, Schinke SP, Cole KC. Journal of Adolescent Health. 2010. 47(5):529-532. PMCID: PMC2964276.

    Summary: In this randomized controlled trial, study participants were recruited via and mailings to Asian community service agencies in 19 states. One hundred and eight eligible mother-child dyads were randomly assigned to the 9-session, Web-based intervention (n=56) or a no intervention control condition (n=52). All participants completed pre- and post-intervention measures, administered in English.

    Upon program completion, girls in the intervention (versus controls) reported significantly less depressed mood, greater self-efficacy, better refusal skills, higher levels of mother-daughter closeness, improved mother-daughter communication, greater maternal monitoring, and more family rules against substance use. Girls in the intervention also reported fewer instances of using alcohol, marijuana, and prescription drugs for non-medical purposes. They also expressed fewer intentions to use substances in the future.

    Take Away: This culturally generic, web-based prevention tool shows promise in helping young second-generation, acculturated Asian-American girls improve psychological states, substance use prevention skills, and maternal relationships, and to reduce substance use.