Project: Research project

Project Details


This study investigating the efficacy of Strategic Structural Family
Systems Engagement in bringing about entry and retention in treatment of
African American drug abusing mothers. The study builds on a long history
of research by the P.I. on developing family oriented interventions with
minority drug abusers, and particularly on highly successful research on
developing and testing the effectiveness of family-oriented strategies for
improving engagement rates for drug abusers.

The study proposes to test the efficacy of the experimental intervention by
randomizing 132 African American women to one of two conditions: Strategic
Structural Family Systems Engagement and an Engagement as Usual Control
Control Condition that maximizes ecological validity. Women in both
conditions receive the Engagement as Usual interventions that is the
standard of care provided by the Florida Department of Health and
Rehabilitative Services. Women in the study will have given birth to
infants who tests positive for cocaine on a urine toxicology screen.

In addition to manuals for the Experimental and condition, four different
strategies are proposed for ensuring treatment fidelity including regular
supervision, condition specific expert supervision, and objective blind
ratings of interventions from therapists' notes and audiotaped sessions.

The impact of individual (e.e., distress, stages of change) and life
context (i.e., social support, stressors) factors outside the intervention
on treatment entry are investigated. Theoretical mechanisms that may
mediate athe efficacy of the experimental condition are explored by coding
family process occuring during family interventions: supportive
interactions (empathic, positive affect, positive coalition), structuring
interactions (request for action, directing flow) and defensive
interactions (blaming, negative coalition, attack).

Analyses include Del, MANOVAs, multiple logistic regressions, structural
equations modeling, and survival analyses.
Effective start/end date9/30/957/31/99


  • National Institute on Drug Abuse
  • National Institute on Drug Abuse
  • National Institute on Drug Abuse
  • National Institute on Drug Abuse


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