"Engaging Moms." An Intervention for Family Drug Court

  • Dakof, Gayle A (PI)

Project: Research project

Project Details


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): During the last 15 years, there has been a dramatic increase in the incidence of both child abuse/neglect and drug abuse among women of childbearing age (Kandel, Warner, & Kessler, 1998; Reid, et al, 1999). Thus, the problem of child maltreatment and maternal substance abuse is a public health problem of the utmost significance (Magura & Laudet, 1996). Judicial and child welfare systems throughout the nation have turned to family drug courts as a possible solution to this problem. However, few scientifically rigorous investigations of drug courts have been done, and many questions remain regarding their effectiveness, essential features, and influence on drug and nondrug outcomes. In response to the growing need for effective family drug court interventions and empirical investigation of their outcomes, we propose a treatment development project exploring the use of a promising family-based intervention, the Engaging Moms Program, within the family drug court context. This application proposes a 4-year Stage 1a/1b Behavioral Therapies Development project with the overarching goal of further developing and pilot testing an innovative family drug court intervention designed to help drug abusing others succeed in family drug court. Initial studies of the Engaging Moms Program suggest that it holds sufficient promise to warrant further development and systematic testing (Dakof et al, in press; Dakof, Cohen & Quille, in preparation). This application has 4 primary aims: (1) develop a manualized, court-based family intervention, the Engaging Moms Program (EMP), as an alternative to standard family drug court case management services, (2) develop training manuals and materials, (3) develop adherence/competence measures, and (4) experimentally compare, in a randomized pilot study (N=60), acceptability and efficacy of the Engaging Moms Program (EMP) versus standard family drug court case management services (CMS). The pilot test of EMP will be carried out in the real-world setting of family drug court, using existing drug court staff to deliver the court-based interventions. Drug use outcomes and changes in psychosocial functioning (co-morbidity, parenting skills, family environment) will be assessed at 5 assessment points, beginning with intake, that coincide with the phases of drug court (3, 6, 9, and 12 months post-intake). Drug court outcomes of graduation status and reunification status will also be assessed. If funded, this project would be one of the first scientific investigations of family drug court. It has the potential to make a major contribution to the enhancement of family drug court programs, and can provide the foundation for a full-scale Stage II clinical trial in this understudied area focusing on an underserved population.
Effective start/end date9/1/035/31/08


  • National Institutes of Health: $372,721.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $337,631.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $368,871.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $323,921.00


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