Send to

Choose Destination

Family-based treatment research: a 10-year update.

Author information

Department of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, and The Center for Family Intervention Science, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.



To provide an update on the state of the art of family-based treatment research.


Randomized clinical trials conducted in the past 10 years that included parents as a primary participant in treatment of child and adolescent psychiatric problems were reviewed. Studies were identified from major literature search engines (e.g., PsycINFO, Medline). Current significant pilot work was identified in the National Institute of Mental Health Computer Retrieval of Information on Scientific Projects (CRISP) Web page or from the authors themselves.


Family treatments have proven effective with externalizing disorders, particularly conduct and substance abuse disorders, and in reducing the comorbid family and school behavior problems associated with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Several new studies suggest that family treatments or treatment augmented by family treatments are effective for depression and anxiety.


For many disorders, family treatments can be an effective stand-alone intervention or an augmentation to other treatments. Engaging parents in the treatment process and reducing the toxicity of a negative family environment can contribute to better treatment engagement, retention, compliance, effectiveness, and maintenance of gains. Recommendations for the next decade of research and some implications of family-based treatment for child and adolescent psychiatry are explored.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center