New York University Skip to Content Skip to Search Skip to Navigation Skip to Sub Navigation

CLAFH’s Families Talking Together Identified as an Effective, Evidence-Based Intervention by the US Department of Health and Human Services

August 19, 2014
N-404 2013-14

The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has named Families Talking Together (FTT) a program effective in reducing teen sexual risk behavior. FTT was developed by Professors Vincent Guilamo-Ramos and James Jaccard of New York University Silver’s Center for Latino Adolescent and Family Health (CLAFH) and Patricia Dittus of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

FTT—given HHS’s highest rating—is a family-based intervention designed for Latino and African Americans to support effective parent-adolescent communication and delay early sexual behavior. Targeted for adolescents aged 11 to 14, FTT helps parents open a dialogue about sex and preventing pregnancy. It is grounded in previous research that has identified three parenting practices—parent-adolescent communication, relationship quality, and monitoring and supervision—as key factors to supporting healthy adolescent sexual behavior. The FTT intervention and training is available in both English and Spanish by emailing

This year, HHS launched a website to provide information on evidence-based programs that demonstrate significant positive impacts in reducing teen pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections, and teen sexual risk behavior. The website provides users resources to learn about evidence-based program models that may be a good fit for their community. All programs deemed effective undergo rigorous analysis by HHS, including a review of supporting research studies that meet established HHS criteria for the quality and execution of research designs.

In an effort to evaluate FTT’s impact, Guilamo-Ramos, Jaccard, and a team of researchers conducted a randomized control trial of 264 African American and Latino mothers and their adolescents at a community-based health care clinic in the Bronx. Half of the mothers and teens participated in the FTT intervention—delivered initially at the clinic by a social work interventionist—and the other half in the standard care offered by the clinic.

The CLAFH team found that teens engaged in FTT were significantly less likely to report having sexual intercourse nine months later. Specifically, sexual activity increased from 6 percent to 22 percent for young adults in the control group, but it remained at 6 percent among young adults using FTT.

CLAFH has partnered with The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy to deliver FTT to Latino families in three counties in California’s Central Valley. CLAFH and The National Campaign trained local community health workers familiar with the communities and their cultural nuances to work with families and teach them how to use FTT. After a successful initial pilot, The National Campaign and CLAFH have extended the FTT dissemination project more widely to community health workers in additional California counties. This initiative is supported in part by The California Wellness Foundation.

CLAFH has also expanded FTT to the Dominican Republic through support from the MAC AIDS Fund. The Dominican Republic is disproportionately impacted by HIV/AIDS in the Caribbean. CLAFH is now piloting a new version of FTT tailored to the specific conditions in the Dominican Republic—high levels of poverty, sex tourism, HIV disease burden, and high exposure to drugs and alcohol.

About CLAFH:

The Center for Latino Adolescent and Family Health (CLAFH) is a research center that investigates the role of the Latino family in shaping the development and well-being of Latino adolescents. CLAFH’s research addresses key issues that affect Latino families. Specifically, CLAFH seeks to: 1) foster the development, evaluation, and dissemination of evidence-based family interventions designed to prevent and/or reduce problem behaviors among Latino adolescents; 2) develop, evaluate, and disseminate family interventions for positive youth development approaches to Latino adolescent development and well-being; 3) examine issues of immigration related to the experiences of Latino families; and 4) promote the economic well-being of the Latino community. Strategically based in New York City, CLAFH addresses the needs of New York’s diverse Latino communities in both national and global contexts. The Center serves as a link between the scientific community, Latino health and social service providers, and the broader Latino community.



This Press Release is in the following Topics:
Silver School of Social Work

Type: Press Release

Press Contacts:
Christopher James | (212) 998-6876
Robert Polner | (212) 998-2337


Search News

NYU In the News

Entrepreneurship Lab Opens at NYU

Crain’s New York Business covered the opening of the Mark and Debra Leslie Entrepreneurial eLab, which will be the headquarters for NYU’s Entrepreneurial Institute and all of the University’s programs aimed at promoting innovation and startups.

A Globalizer for N.Y.U. in Abu Dhabi

The New York Times profiled Bill Bragin who will become the first executive artistic director of NYU Abu Dhabi’s new performing arts center.

Think Tank to Ponder a Future for Ballet

The New York Times profiled Jennifer Homans, the director of NYU’s new Center for Ballet and the Arts.

The Brilliant Ten: Jonathan Viventi Builds Devices That Decode Thoughts

Popular Science named Assistant Bioengineering Professor Jonathan Viventi as one of its “brilliant ten” for his research into brain implants that could one day halt epileptic episodes:

Living and Leaving the Dream: Adrian Cardenas’ Journey from the Major Leagues to College

The New York Times ran a feature on Adrian Cardenas, a former major league baseball player who is now studying philosophy and creating writing at NYU.

NYU Footer