for people ages 21 years and up (full criteria)
healthy people welcome
study started
estimated completion
Marya Schulte (ucla)



The purpose of this study is to develop and test a social media-based (Facebook) intervention that provides support and skills to parents with adolescent children in treatment for substance abuse. The Facebook intervention, PURPOSE, will be 8 weeks long and led by other parents (peer leaders). Peer leaders will go through 2 2-3-hour training sessions and be assessed at the end to confirm their understanding of study protocol and procedures. The study PI will lead 2 short (2-weeks) trial tests of various segments of the intervention to test out content and procedures. Then, a pilot trial with 80 parents, 40 randomized to PURPOSE and 40 randomized to treatment as usual (TAU), will be done to test how useful PURPOSE can be in promoting parents' engagement in their child's treatment and recovery while reducing their own distress and feelings of shame/stigma. Parents will do a phone interview at the start of PURPOSE and again at the end of the 8 weeks.

Official Title

Parents United With Responsive Parents for Online Support and Education PURPOSE: A Social Media Intervention for Parent Support


This study will take advantage of established peer training techniques to train parents of adolescents who are more experienced to help other parents better engage in services for their adolescent child. This pilot study marks the beginning of our long-term program of research focused on adapting intervention tools for delivery via e-technology platforms as a means for optimizing treatment effectiveness for youth. Thus, the proposed study will contribute to the scientific literature on the role of parental support in adolescent recovery as well as respond to NIDA's call for increased understanding of the feasibility and utility of social media as an option expanding the traditional treatment and face-to-face self-help groups. The proposed study has the following aims:

Aim 1: To develop PURPOSE, a social-media based intervention that provides information and coping tools for parents/guardians of adolescent children with a SUD. The theoretically grounded intervention will be peer-led, and will be developed and refined with feedback from experts, providers, parents, and adolescents.

Aim 2: To determine the feasibility and acceptability of PURPOSE that uses online peer-led intervention delivery. Trial testing will be conducted to iteratively refine content and procedures in order to optimize the engagement and usefulness of the intervention for parents.

Aim 3: To conduct a pilot control trial to provide preliminary data on this intervention so as to determine if social media-based parent support group involvement positively impacts parent outcomes (reduced stigma and distress, improved parent monitoring, and increased engagement in adolescent treatment) and adolescent outcomes (treatment retention and abstinence).


Substance Use DisordersParentingAdolescentSocial SupportSocial MediaParentsShameStigmaSubstance-Related DisordersPURPOSE


You can join if…

Open to people ages 21 years and up

  • Be the parent/guardian of an adolescent (under age 18) currently receiving out-patient treatment for SUD
  • Have an active Facebook and email account
  • Be able to read and write English

You CAN'T join if...

  • Any medical and/or psychiatric conditions which would require immediate or ongoing treatment that would make study participation difficult or harmful
  • Already participating in an online support group for parents of teens in treatment


  • UCLA Integrated Substance Abuse Programs accepting new patients
    Los AngelesCalifornia90025United States

Lead Scientist


accepting new patients
Start Date
Completion Date
University of California, Los Angeles
Study Type
Last Updated