A Randomized Controlled Trial of a Group Motivational Interviewing Intervention for Adolescents with a First Time Alcohol or Drug Offense

Published in: Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, v. 45, no. 5, Nov./Dec. 2013

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2013

by Elizabeth J. D'Amico, Sarah B. Hunter, Jeremy N. V. Miles, Brett Ewing, Karen Chan Osilla

Group motivational interviewing (MI) interventions that target youth at-risk for alcohol and other drug (AOD) use may prevent future negative consequences. Youth in a teen court setting [n = 193; 67% male, 45% Hispanic; mean age 16.6 (SD = 1.05)] were randomized to receive either a group MI intervention, Free Talk, or usual care (UC). We examined client acceptance, and intervention feasibility and conducted a preliminary outcome evaluation. Free Talk teens reported higher quality and satisfaction ratings, and MI integrity scores were higher for Free Talk groups. AOD use and delinquency decreased for both groups at 3 months, and 12-month recidivism rates were lower but not significantly different for the Free Talk group compared to UC. Results contribute to emerging literature on MI in a group setting. A longer term follow-up is warranted.

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