Multidimensional family therapy for adolescent alcohol abusers

Cynthia L. Rowe, Howard A. Liddle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Multidimensional Family Therapy (MDFT) has been empirically supported in a series of randomized clinical trials over 20 years. These studies have demonstrated the potency of MDFT in achieving outcomes across functional areas of the teen's life, including reductions in alcohol-other drug use, behavioral problems, emotional symptoms, negative peer associations, school failure, and deficits within the family. This article describes our approach to refining and testing MDFT with teens who abuse alcohol. Drawing from the research base on risk and protective factors for teen alcohol abuse and relapse patterns, a strong case can be made for using a family-based approach for adolescent alcohol problems. MDFT shows promising preliminary results with teens who have alcohol and marijuana use disorders. Specific change targets within this empirically supported family-based intervention for adolescent alcohol problems are outlined.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-123
Number of pages19
JournalAlcoholism Treatment Quarterly
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Dec 1 2008


  • Adolescents
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Family therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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