Contingency Management: Using Incentives to Improve Outcomes for Adolescent Substance Use Disorders

Pediatr Clin North Am. 2019 Dec;66(6):1183-1192. doi: 10.1016/j.pcl.2019.08.007.


Multiple interventions for treating adolescents with substance use disorders have demonstrated efficacy, but most teens do not show an enduring positive response to these treatments. Contingency management (CM)-based strategies provide a promising alternative, and clinical research focused on the development and testing of innovative CM models continues to grow. This article provides information on the principles that underlie CM interventions, key metrics that define their development and implementation, a brief review of studies that have tested these approaches, and some clinical CM tools. As with other interventions to help youth with substance use problems, there is much to learn about CM approaches.

Keywords: Adolescent; Contingency management; Incentives; Review; Substance use; Treatment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior / psychology*
  • Behavior Therapy / methods*
  • Humans
  • Motivation*
  • Punishment / psychology*
  • Reinforcement, Psychology*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / psychology
  • Substance-Related Disorders / therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome