Development and evaluation of a parenting prevention programme of early adolescent risk behaviour in social disadvantaged families in the Brussels-Capital Region.(Researcher Tim ENGELS)

Project Details


Since 1994 the department Department of Developmental and Life Span Psychology of the Free University Brussels has established expertise concerning research on adolescent risk behaviour and leisure activities, which laid the foundation of the development and evaluation of specific adolescent prevention interventions. Gradually our focus turned towards the parental influences on adolescent risk behaviour. The aim to incorporate parents as well as adolescents in prevention programmes of adolescent risk behaviour is internationally based. At the same time there is an urgent need for specific prevention programmes towards poverty.
The primary aim of the research programme is to detect the principle elements of a family support programme concerning risk behaviour of early, social disadvantaged adolescents in inner cities. The secondary aim is to evaluate the effectiveness of the programme, so that prevention activities concerning parents and adolescents who lives below the poverty level can be further developed with respect to the specific situation in the Brussels-Capital Region.
The research will integrate results of research concerning social disadvantaged areas and risk behaviour of French and Dutch speaking adolescents, to detect parameters for a parenting prevention programme in poor neighbourhoods. The research concerns four stages. In the first stage, a conceptual framework will be developed, based on literature and secondary analysis of the epidemiological and socio-demographic data. This structural equation model will be discussed with representatives of community-based organisations on the one hand and of organisations working on prevention on the other hand.
In the second stage a Delphi survey will be conducted to find the characteristics of a successful prevention programme. In the Delphi panel (N = 30), parents of early adolescents (including parents of adolescents in treatment of risk behaviour), adolescents, prevention workers, community workers, specialists in prevention and parenting programmes and counsellors will be represented. Through this qualitative research method different ideas and visions of the participants can be integrated.
In the third stage the parenting programme will be set up in co-operation with different social actors as community workers, prevention workers, clubs and schools. Strategies will be explored to reach social disadvantaged adolescents and their parents through intensive contacts with these local organisations. In parallel and common sessions, parents of early adolescents and early adolescents themselves will be reached. Targets of the programme are early adolescents aged 12 to 15. Scope of the programme is the amelioration of communication between parents and adolescents, and the support of the parenting practices and of self-esteem of the adolescents.
Parallel to this programme a Solomon Four Group Multivariate Repeated Measures design will in the fourth stage verify for the effectiveness of the prevention programme. By measurements at the end of the programme and follow-up measurements 3, 6 and 12 months later, it will be evaluated whether the goals of the parenting prevention programme were reached.
Effective start/end date1/02/0230/04/06

Flemish discipline codes

  • Psychology and cognitive sciences
  • Pedagogical and educational sciences
  • Law and legal studies


  • Adolecence Psychology
  • Prevention
  • Poverty
  • Substance Use
  • Risk Behaviour