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General Responsivity and Evidence-Based Treatment: Individual and Program Predictors of Treatment Outcomes During Adolescent Outpatient Substance Abuse Treatment

NCJ Number
Date Published
December 2014
252 pages
Noting that the majority of the research on the Risk-Need-Responsivity model (RNR) has focused on the risk and need principles while leaving the responsivity principle understudied, the reported study conducted secondary analysis on data collected from 132 adolescent outpatient substance abuse treatment programs (AOPs) and 10 juvenile drug treatment courts (JDTCs) nationwide, so as to determine the impact of responsively adherence on the odds of rearrest and substance-use severity.

The study determined that responsivity adherence (implementing the treatment as designed) was not significantly associated with rearrests among AOP participants, nor was it significantly associated with substance-use severity scores. In addition, the odds of rearrest were significantly greater among individuals who received interventions with a higher EBT-use (evidence-based treatment) score across programs; however, there was no association between the average EBT-use scores across programs and the odds of rearrest. Among JDTC participants, an increase in responsivity adherence was associated with an increase in the odds of rearrest and substance-use severity. These results suggest the need for further specification of both general responsivity adherence and "evidence-based" treatment for use in future research and theory. Specifically, there should be further elaboration of the general responsivity-adherent techniques and clear criteria for classifying interventions as "evidence-based treatment." The findings also imply that certain types of treatment interventions are more compatible with the JDTC model than other interventions. Future research may benefit by exploring EBT as a criterion for adherence to the general responsivity principle. 19 tables, approximately 180 references, and 12 appendices with detailed supplementary information

Date Published: December 1, 2014