Clients who received crisis services at a homeless shelter for transition-aged youth were recruited for a study to describe the youth served, to track outcomes of care, and to examine factors associated with differing outcomes. Participants were 202 men and women who completed a battery of interviews and self-report measures at intake and at 3 follow-up points. Youth served had experienced high levels of adversity and trauma and typically had poor educational and vocational preparation. A multidisciplinary array of services was provided, and overall, participants showed significant improvement from intake to discharge and in the 6 months after discharge. Background, service, and psychological factors did not predict housing outcomes. Better vocational outcome was associated with more recent work experience. Results point to the need for providers of services to the homeless to be aware of the distinct needs and characteristics of transition-aged youth.
"Family reunification is a primary goal of runaway shelters, and shelter staff often include the family within their intervention plan, however, most intervention provided by shelter staff is individually-focused (Barber et al. 2005). Whether family systems therapy, compared to viable individual therapy models, is associated with better short and long-term outcomes for internalizing and externalizing problems among substance abusing runaways was of interest in the current study. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Shelter-recruited adolescents are known to have high rates of substance abuse and co-occurring internalizing and externalizing problem behaviors. Many studies have documented these mental health concerns, but only a small number of studies have tested interventions that may be useful for ameliorating these vulnerabilities. The current study compared three empirically supported psychotherapy interventions, Motivational Interviewing (MI), the Community Reinforcement Approach (CRA), and Ecologically-Based Family Therapy (EBFT) with 179 substance abusing runaway adolescents (47 % female, 74 % minority) and their primary caretaker recruited through a Midwestern runaway crisis shelter. Examining both child and primary caretaker reports, each treatment was associated with significant reductions in internalizing and externalizing behaviors to 24 months post-baseline. However, the trajectory of change differed among the treatments. Adolescents receiving MI showed a quicker reduction in internalizing and externalizing behaviors but also a quicker increase in these behaviors compared to adolescents receiving EBFT, who continued to evidence improvements to 24 months. The findings provide support for continued evaluation of these treatments for use with this vulnerable population of adolescents.
Journal of Youth and Adolescence 09/2012; 42(7). DOI:10.1007/s10964-012-9826-z · 2.72 Impact Factor
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