Cover: Motivational Network Intervention to Reduce Substance Use and Increase Supportive Connections Among Formerly Homeless Emerging Adults Transitioning to Housing

Motivational Network Intervention to Reduce Substance Use and Increase Supportive Connections Among Formerly Homeless Emerging Adults Transitioning to Housing

Study Protocol for a Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial

Published in: Addiction Science & Clinical Practice, Volume 16, Article Number 18 (2021). doi: 10.1186/s13722-021-00227-9

Posted on rand.org Jun 15, 2023

by Joan S. Tucker, David P. Kennedy, Karen Chan Osilla, Daniela Golinelli

Background

Studies indicate high rates of substance use among youth experiencing homelessness (YEH). Further, the social networks of YEH, although multi-dimensional in composition, are largely comprised of other YEH, substance users, and individuals who do not provide the youth with tangible or emotional support. For YEH who have the opportunity to enter a housing program, helping them to reduce their substance use and strengthen their prosocial supportive connections during this critical transition period may increase their stability and reduce their risk of re-entering homelessness. The goal of this study is to pilot test a brief motivational network intervention (MNI), delivered by case managers, to help former YEH who have recently transitioned to a housing program reduce their substance use and strengthen their prosocial supportive connections.

Methods/Design

Up to 60 residents of housing programs in the Los Angeles area will be randomized to receive four sessions of usual case manager support or four sessions of case manager support + MNI. Each MNI session consists of three parts: (1) identifying two goals that are most important for the resident over the next year (e.g., get or keep a job, finish or stay in school, reduce substance use); (2) a network interview with the resident to capture network data pertaining to their interactions in the past 2 weeks; and (3) a discussion between the case manager and the resident of the resulting network visualizations, conducted in a Motivational Interviewing (MI) style, and what role the resident's network may play in reaching their most important goals over the next year.

Discussion

This study addresses a critical gap by pilot testing a computer-assisted MNI, delivered using MI techniques, that can help case managers work with recent YEH to reduce substance use and increase permanent supportive connections during the critical transitional period from homelessness to housing.

Research conducted by

This report is part of the RAND external publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

RAND is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.