This study examined the long-term effects of multisystemic therapy (MST) compared with 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. (publisher abstract modified)