Denver, Colorado 80208


This study will implement and evaluate a mentoring program designed to promote positive youth development and reduce adverse outcomes among maltreated adolescents with open child welfare cases. Teenagers who have been maltreated are at heightened risk for involvement in delinquency, substance use, and educational failure as a result of disrupted attachments with caregivers and exposure to violence within their homes and communities. Although youth mentoring is a widely used prevention approach nationally, it has not been rigorously studied for its effects in preventing these adverse outcomes among maltreated youth involved in the child welfare system. This randomized controlled trial will permit us to implement and evaluate the Fostering Healthy Futures for Teens (FHF-T) program, which will use mentoring and skills training within an innovative positive youth development (PYD) framework to promote adaptive functioning and prevent adverse outcomes. Graduate student mentors will deliver 9 months of prevention programming in teenagers' homes and communities. Mentors will focus on helping youth set and reach goals that will improve their functioning in five targeted "REACH" domains: Relationships, Education, Activities, Career, and Health. In reaching those goals, mentors will help youth build social-emotional skills associated with preventing adverse outcomes (e.g., emotion regulation, communication, problem solving). The randomized controlled trial will enroll 234 racially and ethnically diverse 8th and 9th grade youth (117 intervention, 117 control), who will provide data at baseline prior to randomization, immediately post-program and 15 months post program follow-up. The aims of the study include testing the efficacy of FHF-T for high-risk 8th and 9th graders in preventing adverse outcomes and examining whether better functioning in positive youth development domains mediates intervention effects. It is hypothesized that youth randomly assigned to the FHF-T prevention condition, relative to youth assigned to the control condition, will evidence better functioning on indices of positive youth development in the REACH domains leading to better long-term outcomes, including adaptive functioning, high school graduation, career attainment/employment, healthy relationships, and quality of life.


Inclusion Criteria: - Teens with open child welfare cases placed in foster care, kinship care or living at home - Starting 8th or 9th grade - History of child maltreatment according to child welfare and court records - Live within 35 minutes of the University of Denver (for mentoring feasibility) Exclusion Criteria: - Youth with a known history of severe violent behavior and/or sexual perpetration - Youth who are deemed unsafe or unable to participate in a community-based mentoring program by their caseworker - Incarcerated at baseline - Moderate or severe developmental delay or physical disability - Youth who are/will be parenting during the prevention program



Primary Contact:

Principal Investigator
Heather Taussig, PhD
University of Denver

Heather Taussig, PhD
Phone: 303-871-2937

Backup Contact:

Kimberly Bender, PhD
Phone: 303-871-6760

Location Contact:

Denver, Colorado 80208
United States

There is no listed contact information for this specific location.

Site Status: Recruiting

Data Source:

Date Processed: October 09, 2019

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