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Adolescent, Facebook, Parent, Qualitative, Social Media Intervention, Substance Use



  1. Schulte, Marya T. PhD
  2. Kelleghan, Annemarie R. MA


Abstract: Adolescent substance use disorder contributes to negative psychosocial and physical health outcomes. Parents best support their child's treatment and recovery when they are equipped with knowledge and skills; however, barriers hinder parental engagement. Social-media-based groups present an opportunity for parents who may not otherwise seek support. Qualitative data were collected via focus groups to examine the opinions of adolescents, parents, and treatment providers on the potential utility and possible concerns of a Facebook-based parent support group; input constituted the development phase for an online group (PURPOSE). Fifty-eight participants, recruited through adolescent treatment programs, took part in six focus groups: two parent (n = 18), two adolescent (n = 21), and two provider (n = 19) groups. Groups were audio recorded and transcribed, and themes were extracted. Three main themes emerged: (a) traditional support groups and treatment services, (b) PURPOSE intervention content and delivery, and (c) issues related to PURPOSE implementation. Traditional treatment/support groups can be helpful, but participation in them is limited. Emotional support offered by peers is valuable, but parents also need and seek out psychoeducation, parenting skills, and self-care support. PURPOSE could offer easy access to skills and real-time peer support.