Challenges and opportunities of group therapy for adolescent substance abuse: a critical review.
ABSTRACT Group intervention has been the most commonly employed treatment modality for adolescents with substance use disorders (SUD). Evidence has been accumulating in support for the efficacy of diverse forms of group therapy that have been utilized with adolescents. It has been argued however, that aggregation of youths who display problem behavior into group interventions may, under some conditions, produce iatrogenic effects on all participants. This assertion known also as "deviancy training" and its presumed effect on treatment outcomes has created a barrier to progress regardless of the fact that it has not been tested or empirically supported in heterogeneous groups of adolescents treated for SUD. It is imperative to optimize group intervention while considering how to prevent, reduce and control, potentially iatrogenic effects associated with the aggregation of antisocial youths in heterogeneous groups. The main objective of this review is to address the challenges and opportunities regarding group treatment of adolescent SUD.
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ABSTRACT: The objective of this article is to examine the effectiveness of 2 theoretically different treatments delivered in juvenile drug court-family therapy represented by multidimensional family therapy (MDFT) and group-based treatment represented by adolescent group therapy (AGT)-on offending and substance use. Intent-to-treat sample included 112 youth enrolled in juvenile drug court (primarily male [88%], and Hispanic [59%] or African American [35%]), average age 16.1 years, randomly assigned to either family therapy (n = 55) or group therapy (n = 57). Participants were assessed at baseline and 6, 12, 18 and 24 months following baseline. During the drug court phase, youth in both treatments showed significant reduction in delinquency (average d = .51), externalizing symptoms (average d = 2.32), rearrests (average d = 1.22), and substance use (average d = 4.42). During the 24-month follow-up, family therapy evidenced greater maintenance of treatment gains than group-based treatment for externalizing symptoms (d = 0.39), commission of serious crimes (d = .38), and felony arrests (d = .96). There was no significant difference between the treatments with respect to substance use or misdemeanor arrests. The results suggest that family therapy enhances juvenile drug court outcomes beyond what can be achieved with a nonfamily based treatment, especially with respect to what is arguably the primary objective of juvenile drug courts: reducing criminal behavior and rearrests. More research is needed on the effectiveness of juvenile drug courts generally and on whether treatment type and family involvement influence outcomes. Trial Registry Name: Clinical Trials.gov, Identified NCT01668303. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).Journal of Family Psychology 01/2015; 29(2). DOI:10.1037/fam0000053 · 1.89 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Clients who verbalize statements arguing for change (change talk [CT]) in psychotherapy are more likely to decrease alcohol and other drug use (AOD) compared with clients who voice statements in opposition of change (sustain talk [ST]). Little is known about how CT and ST are expressed in groups in which adolescents may vary in their AOD use severity and readiness to change. First, we examined how session content was associated with CT/ST, and then we looked at whether different subtypes of CT/ST were associated with subsequent AOD outcomes 3 months later. Audio recordings (N = 129 sessions) of a 6-session group motivational interviewing (MI) intervention, Free Talk, were coded. Session content was not associated with CT; however, some session content was associated with higher percentages of ST (e.g., normative feedback). Subtypes of CT (Commitment and Reason) were associated with improved AOD outcomes, whereas Ability subtype remarks were related to increased marijuana use, intentions, and consequences. Findings offer helpful guidance for clinical training and narrow in on the type of CT to try to elicit in Group MI sessions. Regardless of session content, adolescents can benefit from hearing CT during the group. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).Journal of Counseling Psychology 01/2015; 62(1):79-86. DOI:10.1037/cou0000049 · 3.23 Impact Factor
Youth Substance Abuse in Canada, 01/2007: pages 38-44; Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse.