Adolescent and parent therapeutic alliances as predictors of dropout in multidimensional family therapy

Michael S. Robbins, Howard A. Liddle, Charles W. Turner, Gayle A. Dakof, James F. Alexander, Steven M. Kogan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

110 Scopus citations


The authors examined the relations between adolescent-therapist and mother-therapist therapeutic alliances and dropout in multidimensional family therapy for adolescents who abuse drugs. The authors rated videotapes of family therapy sessions using observational methods to identify therapist-adolescent and therapist-mother alliances in the first 2 therapy sessions. Differences in adolescent and mother alliances in families that dropped out of therapy and families that completed therapy were compared. Results indicate that both adolescent and mother alliances with the therapist discriminated between dropout and completer families. Although no differences were observed between the 2 groups in Session 1, adolescents and mothers in the dropout group demonstrated statistically significantly lower alliance scores in Session 2 than adolescents and parents in the completer group. These findings are consistent with other research that has established a relationship between therapeutic alliance and treatment response.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)108-116
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Family Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2006


  • Alliance
  • Drug use
  • Family therapy
  • Retention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Psychology(all)


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