Predictors of substance use and family therapy outcome among physically and sexually abused runaway adolescents

Natasha Slesnick, Suzanne Bartle-Haring, Rashmi Gangamma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Scopus citations


There is a dearth of research that examines the impact of family systems therapy on problems among sexually and/or physically abused youth. Given this void, differential outcome and predictors of substance use change were evaluated for abused, as compared with nonabused, runaway adolescents who were randomly assigned to family therapy or treatment as usual. Abused adolescents reported lower family cohesion at baseline, although both abused and nonabused adolescents showed similar substance use reductions. Utilizing hierarchical linear modeling, we found that substance use changed with change in cohesion over time. These findings link change in family functioning to change in adolescent substance use, supporting family systems theory. Findings suggest that a potent target of intervention involves focus on increasing positive communication interactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)261-281
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of marital and family therapy
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2006
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science

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