Culturally relevant family-based treatment for adolescent delinquency and substance abuse: understanding within-session processes


  • Portions of this project were supported by grant R01AA122202 from the National Institute on Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA)/Center for Substance Abuse Treatment grant DA13066 from the National Institute on Drug Abuse to Scott W. Henggeler, Administrative Supplement for Health Disparities Research grant NOT-DA-01-011 to Scott W. Henggeler, and by SAMSHA OA00073-01 to Sarah Warner.


Identifying psychotherapy processes that likely contribute to client outcome with ethnic minorities is a vital practice and research need, particularly within family-focused, evidence-based treatments (EBT) for youth with externalizing problems. Identifying process variables within a cross-cultural context may improve the efficacy of EBTs by informing psychotherapists how to modify their behavior when working with ethnically diverse clients. The authors described one approach to the development of culturally competent psychotherapy, using an observational coding system comprising Afrocentric codes to investigate culturally relevant therapist behaviors. Qualitative examples illustrated the quantitative findings relating to therapist in-session behavior that promote client engagement and positive responding during a midtreatment session of multisystemic therapy. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Clin Psychol: In Session 66:1–17, 2010.