Computer Informed and Flexible Family-Based Treatment for Adolescents: A Randomized Clinical Trial for at-Risk Racial/Ethnic Minority Adolescents

Daniel Santisteban, Sara J Czaja, Sankaran N. Nair, Maite Mena, Alina R. Tulloch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


Family interventions have been shown to be effective for adolescents with behavior problems. Current literature supports both adaptive treatments and technology-assisted interventions as highly promising innovations for treating at-risk adolescents. The purpose of this investigation was to develop and test the efficacy of a computer-assisted version of an established office-based multicomponent family therapy. Eighty Hispanic and Black Non-Hispanic adolescents and their families participated in the study and were randomized to either Immediate Computer-Assisted CIFFTA or Delayed Computer-Assisted CIFFTA. Significant between-groups effects were found from baseline to posttreatment showing the superiority of the Immediate CA CIFFTA condition on both the Conduct Disorder (B = -5.17, SE = 1.73, p < .01, CI [-8.55, -1.79]) and Socialized Aggression (B = -2.04, SE = .83, p < .05, CI [-3.67, -.41]) subscales of the Revised Behavior Problem Checklist, on the Youth Self Report Externalizing scale (B = -4.22, SE = 1.40, p < .01, CI [-6.95, -1.48]), and on both the parent (B = 1.34, SE = .50, p < .01, CI [.36, 2.32]) and adolescent (B = 1.31, SE = .46, p < .01, CI [.41, 2.21]) reports of the Family Environment Scale's family cohesion subscale. Baseline to 6-weeks posttreatment (T1-T3) analyses showed that these significant within-subjects effects were sustained for the treatment group. Results highlight that adolescent behavior problems can be significantly impacted by a computer-assisted intervention that replaces psychoeducational face-to-face meetings with computer-delivered modules.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)474-489
Number of pages16
JournalBehavior Therapy
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2017



  • adolescent
  • behavior problems
  • family therapy
  • technology intervention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology

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