Adolescent alcohol misuse: methodological issues for enhancing treatment research

Addiction. 2004 Nov;99 Suppl 2:47-62. doi: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2004.00854.x.


Aims: The objective of this article is to present an overview of the current state of the field of adolescent alcohol treatment research and to discuss several priorities for future research directions.

Method: The authors identified trends in adolescent alcohol treatment research from multiple sources, including searches of the National Institutes of Health grantee listings, proceedings from annual meetings of the Research Society on Alcoholism and relevant English-language journal articles available in MEDLINE and PSYCHLIT databases over the past decade.

Research recommendations: This field must build on its major strength, which has been its success in appreciating the unique developmental characteristics of adolescence and meaningfully incorporating them into adolescent alcohol treatment approaches. Priorities for future research include: empirically investigating the potential value of harm reduction approaches for promoting public health and reducing total harm for adolescents; developing efficacious interventions across a wide range of intensities and settings; increasing the reach and relevance of randomized treatment efficacy trials and their products, with a particular focus on enhancing the recruitment and retention of diverse treatment samples; increasing a focus on key individual difference variables such as co-occurring diagnoses, that may serve as the basis for treatment tailoring; and exploration of the potential benefits of transdisciplinary research.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Humans
  • Research Design
  • Substance-Related Disorders / therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome