Strengthening Families Coping Resources (SFCR) Open Trials completes the second stage of the National Institute on Drug Abuse's intervention development model by testing a new family, skills-based intervention involving pre-post evaluation of families participating in multi-family groups. The purpose of this study is to gather practice-based evidence on the effectiveness of the manualized treatment, on the dynamics involved in the group format, and on implementation fidelity and feasibility. Analyses will involve initial exploration of the following hypotheses: 1) Families will show a significant increase in the constructive use of family coping skills and in general family functioning. 2) The target child will show a reduction in trauma-related symptoms and behavior problems. 3) Parents will show significant reductions in traumatic stress and other symptoms of distress. 4) Families will engage and participate in the treatment. 5) Providers will implement SFCR with fidelity. Other outcomes of interest are the process measures that will be collected to monitor participation in the groups, cultural sensitivity and acceptability, clinician competence, and intervention integrity.



Eligible Ages
Between 1 Year and 17 Years
Eligible Genders
Accepts Healthy Volunteers

Inclusion Criteria

  • Children aged 1 through 17 years old at the time of recruitment - Child and family exposed to multiple traumas - a partial diagnosis of PTSD (15-week treatment version) - currently in the custody of a caregiver who agrees to participate in the study. - a stable caregiving system as defined by a recent history of stability and unlikely to change in the next 6 months.

Exclusion Criteria

  • Children will be excluded only if they have active suicide ideation, an imminent risk for re-exposure due to their living environment, active psychosis, severe mental retardation or brain injury - Parent/caregiver has active psychosis or is a danger to self/others.

Study Design

Study Type
Observational Model
Time Perspective

Arm Groups

ArmDescriptionAssigned Intervention
Families participating in SFCR Families who have experienced multiple traumas and high stress related to poverty
  • Behavioral: Strengthening Family Coping Resources (SFCR)
    Trauma Version (15 weeks) and High Risk Version (10 weeks) are 2 hour sessions. Dinner will be provided at the start of group for all participants. Activities will be conducted at each group to encourage family involvement. The treatment modules focus on family rituals and routine, strengthening families' collaborative coping, and resolution of the trauma(s) bringing the families to treatment. Activities will be both family-based and age-based.

Recruiting Locations

University of Maryland, School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry, Divsion of Services Research
Baltimore, Maryland 21201
Laurel J Kiser, Ph.D.

More Details

University of Maryland, Baltimore

Study Contact

Detailed Description

Strengthening Family Coping Resources (SFCR) is a manualized, trauma-focused, skills-based intervention that uses a multi-family group format. SFCR is designed for families living in traumatic contexts with the goal of reducing the symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other trauma-related disorders in children and adult caregivers. Since most families living in traumatic contexts contend with on-going stressors and threats, SFCR is also designed to increase coping resources in children, adult caregivers, and in the family system to prevent relapse and re-exposure. SFCR provides trauma treatment within a family format. SFCR includes additional therapeutic strategies designed to improve the family's ability to cope with on-going stress and threats of re-exposure. Specifically, SFCR builds the coping resources necessary to help families boost their sense of safety, function with stability, regulate their emotions and behaviors, and improve communication about and understanding of the traumas they have experienced. The model includes family work on storytelling and narration, which builds to a family trauma narrative. SFCR is currently being implemented at University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC), at sites that are part of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN), and at community agencies within the Baltimore Metro area and beyond. Families will participate in a multifamily version of the intervention. Multiple groups of 5-6 families will be conducted with pre-post data collected in addition to information on the feasibility of the intervention. Prior to beginning each group, families will be assessed using a structured assessment. This assessment will be repeated at the end of group (all groups) and approximately one year following the completion of the group (for UMMC groups only). One child in each family will be designated as the research subject. The target child will be chosen according to age, aged 1 through 17 years old, and referral for services. If more than one child in the family meet these criteria, the primary caregiver will be given the option of how many children s/he would like to be assessed for inclusion in the study. Data on the parents will only be collected from mothers or female caregivers. If no female caregiver is available, the primary caregiver will complete the assessments.


Study information shown on this site is derived from ClinicalTrials.gov (a public registry operated by the National Institutes of Health). The listing of studies provided is not certain to be all studies for which you might be eligible. Furthermore, study eligibility requirements can be difficult to understand and may change over time, so it is wise to speak with your medical care provider and individual research study teams when making decisions related to participation.