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J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2011 Dec;50(12):1220-35.e2. doi: 10.1016/j.jaac.2011.09.017. Epub 2011 Nov 6.

A randomized controlled trial of multisystemic therapy and a statutory therapeutic intervention for young offenders.

Author information

  • 1Research Division of Clinical, Educational and Health Psychology, UCL, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT, UK. stephen.butler@ucl.ac.uk

Erratum in

  • J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2012 Mar;51(3):337.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate whether Multisystemic Therapy (MST) is more effective in reducing youth offending and out-of-home placement in a large, ethnically diverse, urban U.K. sample than an equally comprehensive management protocol; and to determine whether MST leads to broader improvements in youth sociality and in mediators believed to be responsible for change in MST.

METHOD:

108 families were randomized to either MST (n=56) or the comprehensive and targeted usual services delivered by youth offending teams (YOT, n = 52).

RESULTS:

Although young people receiving both MST and YOT interventions showed improvement in terms of reduced offending, the MST model of service-delivery reduced significantly further the likelihood of nonviolent offending during an 18-month follow-up period. Consistent with offending data, the results of youth-reported delinquency and parental reports of aggressive and delinquent behaviors show significantly greater reductions from pre-treatment to post-treatment levels in the MST group. In this study MST was observed to have some delayed impact on offending, the nature and causes of which will require further study.

CONCLUSIONS:

The superiority of the MST condition in reducing offending and antisocial behavior suggests that MST adds value to current U.K. statutory evidence-based youth services. The provision of MST does not supplant existing services but is best used to facilitate the appropriate and cost-effective organization of statutory services for young persons and their families.

Copyright © 2011 American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Comment in

PMID:
22115143
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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