Structural ecosystems therapy for hiv+ african-american women and drug abuse relapse

Daniel J. Feaster, Myron J. Burns, Ahnalee M. Brincks, Guillermo Prado, Victoria B. Mitrani, Megaly H. Mauer, Jose Szapocznik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


This report examines the effect of Structural Ecosystems Therapy (SET) for (n=143) HIV+ African-American women on rate of relapse to substance use relative to both a person-centered approach (PCA) to therapy and a community control (CC) group. A prior report has shown SET to decrease psychological distress and family hassles relative to these 2 comparison groups. In new analyses, SET and CC had a significant protective effect against relapse as compared with PCA. There is evidence that SET's protective effect on relapse was related to reductions in family hassles, whereas there was not a direct impact of change in psychological distress on rates of relapse. Lower retention in PCA, perhaps caused by the lack of a directive component to PCA, may have put these women at greater risk for relapse. Whereas SET did not specifically address substance abuse, SET indirectly protected at-risk women from relapse through reductions in family hassles. 2010

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)204-219
Number of pages16
JournalFamily Process
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2010


  • Drug Abuse
  • Ecosystems
  • Family
  • Relapse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology


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