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Evidence-Based Treatment and Responsivity: Individual and Program Predictors of Recidivism During Juvenile Drug Court and Outpatient Substance Abuse Treatment

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Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2013, $25,000)

This grant is funded under NIJ's 2013 Ph.D. Graduate Research Fellowship (GRF) Program, which provides awards to accredited academic universities that offer research-based doctoral degrees in disciplines relevant to NIJ's mission.

The purpose of this award is to explore the effect of general responsivity adherence and evidence-based treatments in juvenile drug courts on rearrest while controlling for individual characteristics. The use of evidence based treatments (EBT) in juvenile drug courts (JDC) has received little research focus, though one study suggests that they do boost JDC effectiveness. Evaluations of JDCs themselves show mixed results. The aims of this study are to: 1) determine if program level responsivity adherence is associated with rearrest; 2) determine whether participants in programs using EBTs have fewer rearrests; and 3) determine if these findings are generalizable to adolescent outpatient programs. The study is a secondary data analysis project using the 2011 Horizontal Summary Analytic Center for Substance Abuse Treatment Global Assessment of Individual Need dataset. The data includes 1,176 JDC participants across 10 programs and 11,761 adolescent outpatient program (AOP) participants across 132 programs who are between the ages of 12 and 17 years old. JDC participants and AOP participants will be matched using propensity score matching. Hierarchical linear modeling will be used to analyze the data. This multi-level method was selected because it will improve the prediction of rearrest while controlling and testing the relevance of program level-variables in explaining rearrest. Individual level participant characteristics such as criminogenic need will be used to predict rearrest at the first level of analysis and then responsivity adherence as well as the use of EBTs will be used to assess any remaining variance in the models at the second level.

There are several implications for practice and policy that may develop from this research. First, practical guidance may emerge on treatments using responsivity adherence for juvenile drug court programs. Second, programs may develop policies on funding JDCs based on their use of EBTs. Third, theoretically interesting implications may be found about the responsivity treatment effect.

Date Created: September 9, 2013