The nature and extent of changes in parenting and the link between parental subsystem changes and reduction in adolescent substance abuse and problem behaviors were examined in a sample of 29 parents and their drug-abusing adolescents. Participants completed 16 sessions of multidimensional family therapy. Over two thirds of the parents showed moderate to excellent improvement in parenting. Chi-square goodness-of-fit analyses revealed a statistically significant association between improvement in parenting and reduction in adolescent drug use and behavior problems. Results of this exploratory study provide qualified support for a fundamental tenet of family therapy - that change in the parental subsystem is related to improvement in the problem behavior of adolescents.
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