Multisystemic treatment of serious juvenile offenders: long-term prevention of criminality and violence

J Consult Clin Psychol. 1995 Aug;63(4):569-78. doi: 10.1037//0022-006x.63.4.569.


This article examined the long-term effects of multisystemic therapy (MST) vs. individual therapy (IT) on the prevention of criminal behavior and violent offending among 176 juvenile offenders at high risk for committing additional serious crimes. Results from multiagent, multimethod assessment batteries conducted before and after treatment showed that MST was more effective than IT in improving key family correlates of antisocial behavior and in ameliorating adjustment problems in individual family members. Moreover, results from a 4-year follow-up of rearrest data showed that MST was more effective than IT in preventing future criminal behavior, including violent offending. The implications of such findings for the design of violence prevention programs are discussed.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Crime / prevention & control*
  • Family
  • Humans
  • Juvenile Delinquency*
  • Peer Group
  • Psychotherapy*
  • Violence / prevention & control*