This study examined biological (testosterone) and social (deviant peer affiliation) factors early in treatment as predictors of treatment outcome among adolescent boys receiving Multisystemic Therapy (MST) in community settings. Outcome variables included changes in youth aggression and delinquency as reported by the primary caregiver. Testosterone and deviant peer affiliation were assessed at treatment onset; and outcome variables (aggression and delinquency) were assessed at treatment onset, mid-treatment and end-of-treatment. Participants were 112 adolescent boys (M age=15.42, SD=1.31) and their caregivers. Growth curve analyses revealed that the combination of high testosterone and high deviant peer affiliation early in treatment were significantly associated with less of a decline in aggression and delinquency over the course of treatment. Results provide novel evidence for the role of testosterone in the prediction of future externalizing behaviors. Clinical and theoretical implications are discussed.
Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.