Adolescent and parent alliance and treatment outcome in multidimensional family therapy. Academic Article uri icon


  • In this study, the authors examined the relation between adolescent and parent therapeutic alliances and treatment outcome among 65 substance-abusing adolescents receiving multidimensional family therapy. Observer ratings of parent alliance predicted premature termination from treatment. Observer ratings, but not self-report, of adolescent alliance predicted adolescents' substance abuse and dependency symptoms at posttreatment, as well as days of cannabis use at 3-month follow-up. The association between adolescent alliance and substance abuse and dependency symptoms at posttreatment was moderated by the strength of the parent alliance. Results reveal the unique and interactive effects of the 2 alliances on treatment outcome and emphasize the need for a systemic and well-articulated approach to developing and maintaining the multiple alliances inherent to family therapy.

publication date

  • January 1, 2005