Multisystemic Treatment of Serious Behaviour Problems in Youth: Sustainability of Effectiveness Two Years after Intake

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Abstract

Background:  Multisystemic Treatment (MST) is an intensive home- and community based intervention for youths with serious behaviour problems. The aim of this study was to examine the effectiveness of MST compared to ‘regular services’ (RS) two years after intake to treatment. In particular, our goals were to investigate whether MST was successful at preventing placement out of home, and to examine reductions in behaviour problems in multi-informant assessments.

Method:  Participants were 75 adolescents who were randomly assigned to MST or Regular Child Welfare Services (RS) at 3 sites across Norway. Data were gathered from youths, caregivers and teachers.

Results:  MST was more effective than RS in reducing out of home placement and behavioural problems.

Discussion:  The sustainability of treatment effects was evident, supporting the MST approach to the treatment of serious behavioural problems in youth. Site differences and the moderating effects of age and gender are discussed.

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