Online Adaptation

Purpose: The paper compares outcomes of a family-based prevention program from it original in-person mode to an online mode in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Celebrating Families!™ (CF!) is designed to improve parenting skills, family functioning, and family relationships to break the cycle of substance use problems. Method: This mixed-methods, quasi-experimental study compared outcomes of in-person and online treatment conditions, and content analysis of open-ended responses to a satisfaction survey.


Results: Both groups showed improvement in outcomes, with moderate effect sizes and high satisfaction. Average scores of the online groups were generally lower than the in-person scores. Qualitative data yielded participants’ accounts of improvements in parenting behaviors, family relationships, coping skills and knowledge insights.


Conclusions: Despite the contexts of COVID-19, findings provided evidence that such relational group interventions can be feasibly administered online and can effect changes required to break the cycle of substance use problems and adverse family experiences.


Cohen, E. & Tisch, R. (Forthcoming). The online adaptation of a family-based intervention addressing substance use disorder. Research on Social Work Practice.