Project: Research project

Project Details


DESCRIPTION: (Applicant's Abstract)

The primary aims of the proposed study are to: 1) investigate the
efficacy of Structural Ecosystems Therapy (SET) in reducing adolescent drug
use and conduct problems, and 2) examine it's theoretical mechanisms of
action. SET is a culturally sensitive comprehensive ecosystemic
intervention that systematically targets maladaptive patterns of interaction
at three levels of the adolescent's social ecology: microsystem (family,
peers, school, and justice system), mesosystem (family-peer, family-school,
and family-justice system), and exosystem (parental support system). It is
hypothesized that improvements in functioning at these three levels will
lead to: 1) reductions in symptomatic behaviors of a) drug use, and b)
conduct, delinquent, and antisocial behaviors; and 2) improvements in
psychosocial functioning.

An experimental design is achieved by randomly assigning 312 (156
African-American, 156 Hispanic) drug using, behavior problem adolescents to
one of three treatment conditions: SET, Structural family therapy (FAM),
and community control (CC). FAM represents one standard of care in the
treatment of drug using, behavior problem adolescents, and CC is intended to
replicate the typical range of services currently provided in our community.
Three rigorous procedures are designed to ensure fidelity to conditions.
Comprehensive assessments of adolescent drug use, conduct problems, and
functioning at each of the three ecosystemic levels are conducted at
baseline, and 6, 12, and 18 months post-baseline.

Analyses investigate the intervention's direct effects on behavioral
outcomes (drug use, conduct problems, and psychosocial functioning), and
hypothesized mediators (micro-, meso-, and exosystemic functioning), as well
as the contribution of each mediator to outcome. Proposed analyses include
RMANOVA, structural equations modeling, and Hierarchical Linear Modeling.
Additional analyses explore the moderating effects of race/ethnicity,
culture, treatment adherence, and treatment dosage.
Effective start/end date9/30/967/31/02


  • National Institute on Drug Abuse
  • National Institute on Drug Abuse
  • National Institute on Drug Abuse: $799,363.00
  • National Institute on Drug Abuse
  • National Institute on Drug Abuse
  • National Institute on Drug Abuse
  • National Institute on Drug Abuse


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