Bicultural Effectiveness Training (BET): An Experimental Test of an Intervention Modality for Families Experiencing Intergenerational/Intercultural Conflict

Jose Szapocznik, Arturo Rio, Angel Perez-Vidal, William Kurtines, Olga Hervis, David Santisteban

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

145 Scopus citations


This study compares the efficacy of Bicultural Effectiveness Training (BET), a new intervention modality, and Structural Family Therapy (SFT), an established treatment approach. Cuban American families experiencing intercultural and intergenerational differences in which an adolescent member manifested symptoms of conduct disorder and/or social mal-adjustment were the subjects. The experimental intervention condition, BET, uses culture as content around which to bring about changes in the family's style of relating. The comparison (control) condition, SFT, is an approach which also focuses on changing the family's style of relating but, in comparison to BET, it is more process oriented and may use any content that emerges from the family. The relative effectiveness of the two family intervention modalities was determined by the degree to which improvement was achieved, as assessed by treatment outcome instruments designed to measure family interactional patterns (structure), family levels of acculturation and biculturalism, and adolescent behavior problems and psychopathology. The findings indicated that families/adolescents in both treatment groups demonstrated significant pre-post treatment changes in the hypothesized direction. This finding is important since BET is a standarized method of service delivery that is attractive to families, is easily replicable, and has the potential for broad distribution, making it useful to early intevention and prevention approaches.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)303-330
Number of pages28
JournalHispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1986


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology

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