Comparative efficacy of family and group treatment for adolescent substance abuse

Douglas C. Smith, James A. Hall, Julie K. Williams, Hyonggin An, Nathan Gotman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


Due to the continuing prevalence of adolescent substance abuse, promising treatment models need to be developed and evaluated. Thus, the purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of two promising models, Strengths Oriented Family Therapy (SOFT) and The Seven Challenges® (7C). Adolescents who qualified for outpatient treatment and agreed to participate in our study were randomly assigned to one of the two treatments and assessed at 3 and 6-months following baseline. Using a two-part, random-effects model, we examined the odds of achieving abstinence or full symptom remission between treatments and over time. For those not achieving full abstinence or full problem remission, we investigated whether frequency of use or symptom severity were reduced at follow-up. Participants in both SOFT and 7C demonstrated significant reductions in substance use and related problems, but treatments did not differ at 3 and 6 months following baseline. Overall, treatment services were delivered as planned. Both SOFT and 7C were efficacious with adolescents who abuse substances, as participants in both conditions were significantly more likely to be in symptom remission or abstinent at follow-up interviews versus at baseline. Replication studies are needed that address this study's limitations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)s131-s136
JournalAmerican Journal on Addictions
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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