Independent Reviews

MDFT is one of the most effective interventions for adolescent substance abuse and antisocial behavior. These reviews are scholarly analyses by experts who are not affiliated with the MDFT program.


Ariss, T., & Fairbarn, C. E. (2020). The effect of significant other involvement in treatment for substance use disorders: A meta-analysis. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 88(6), 526-540. doi: 10.1037/ccp0000495

Fadus, M. C., Squeglia, L. M., Valadez, E. A., Tomko, R. L., Bryant, B. E., & Gray, K. M. (2019, Sept). Adolescent substance use disorder treatment: An update on evidence-based strategies. Current Psychiatry Reports, 21(10), 96. doi: 10.1007/s11920-019-1086-0

Ledgerwood, D. M., & Cunningham, P. B. (2019). Juvenile drug treatment court. Pediatric Clinics, 66(6), 1193-1202. doi: 10.1016/j.pcl.2019.08.011

Snowdon, N., Allan, J., Shakeshaft, A., Rickwood, D., Stockings, E., Boland, V. C., & Courtney, R. J. (2019). Outpatient psychosocial substance use treatments for young people: An overview of reviews. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 205.

Dopp, A. R., Smith, A. B., Berman, I. S., & Hill, M. A. (2018). Family- and community-based treatments. In Michael M. Martel (Ed.), Developmental pathways to disruptive, impulse-control and conduct disorders. Fayetteville, AR: Academic Press.

Carr, A. (2018). Family therapy and systemic interventions for child-focused problems: The current evidence baseJournal of Family Therapy. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1111/1467-6427.12226

Matarese, M., Greeno, E. and Betsinger, S. (2017). Youth with diverse sexual orientation, gender identity and expression in child welfare: A review of best practices. Baltimore, MD: Institute for Innovation & Implementation, University of Maryland School of Social Work.

Montgomery, L., Robinson, C., Seaman, E. L., & Haeny, A. M. (2017). A scoping review and meta-analysis of psychosocial and pharmacological treatments for cannabis and tobacco use among African Americans. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 31(8), 922-943. doi: 10.1037/adb0000326

Van der pol, T. M., Machteld, H., Noom, M. J., Stams, G. J. M., Doreleijers, T. A. H., van Domburgh, L., Vermeiren, R. R. J. M. (2017). Research review: The effectiveness of multidimensional family therapy in treating adolescents with multiple behavior problems – a meta-analysisJournal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 58(5), 532-545. doi: 10.1111/jcpp.12685

González Lomba, C, & López Durán, A. (2017). Revisión del tratamiento psicológico de la adicción al cannabis (Psychological treatment of cannabis addiction review). Health and Addictions, 17(1), 15-26.

Wozny, D. A., Hall, K., & Porter, J. Y. (2016). Review of randomized controlled trials in adolescent cannabis use treatment: A counseling practitioner’s summary (Article 94). VISTAS Online. American Counseling Association Knowledge Center.

Carr, A. (2016). Family therapy for adolescents: A research-informed perspective. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy, 37, 467-479. doi:10.1002/anzf.1184

Lopez-Zeron, G. A., & Parra-Cardona, J. R. (2015). Elements of change across community-based trauma interventions. Journal of Systemic Therapies, 34, 60-76. doi: 10.1521/jsyt.2015.34.3.60

European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction. (2014). Multidimensional Family Therapy for adolescent drug users: A systemic review (EMCDDA Papers). Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union.

Tripodi, S. J., Bender, K., Litschge, C., & Vaughn, M. G. (2010). Interventions for reducing adolescent alcohol abuse: A meta-analytic review. Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, 164(1), 85-91. doi: 10-1001/arch pediatircs.2009.235.


Drug and Alcohol Findings. (2009). Multidimensional Family Therapy for young adolescent substance abuse: twelve-month outcomes of a randomized controlled trial (Drug and Alcohol Findings Research Analysis).

Hawkins, E. H. (2009). A tale of two systems: Co-occurring mental health and substance abuse disorders treatment for adolescents. Annual Review of Psychology, 60, 197-227. doi: 10.1146/annurev.psych.60.110707.163456

Becker, S. J., & Curry, J. F. (2008). Outpatient interventions for adolescent substance abuse: A quality of evidence reviewJournal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 76(4), 531-543. doi: 10.1037/0022-006X.76.4.531

Huey, S., & Polo, A. (2008). Evidence-based psychosocial treatments for ethnic minority youth: A review and meta-analysis. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 37(1), 262-301. doi: 10.1080/15374410701820174

Perepletchikova, F., Krystal, J. H., & Kaufman, J. (2008). Practitioner review: Adolescent alcohol use disorders: Assessment and treatment issues. Journal of Child Psychology & Psychiatry & Allied Disciplines, 49 (11), 1131-1154. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-7610.2008.01934.x


Waldron, H. B., & Turner, C. W. (2008). Evidence-based psychosocial treatments for adolescent substance abuse. Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology, 37(1), 238-261. doi: 10.1080/15374410701820133

Austin, A. M., Macgowan, M. J., & Wagner, E. F. (2005). Effective family-based interventions for adolescents with substance use problems: A systematic review. Research on Social Work Practice, 15(2), 67-83. doi: 10.1177/1049731504291606


Thompson, S. J., Pomeroy, E. C., & Gober, K. (2005). Family-based treatment models targeting substance use and high-risk behaviors among adolescents: A review. Journal of Evidence Based Social Work, 2(1-2), 207-233. doi: 10.1300/J394v02n01_12

Brannigan, R., Schackman, B. R., Falco, M., & Millman, R. B. (2004). The quality of highly regarded adolescent substance abuse treatment programs: Results of an in-depth national survey. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, 158(9), 904-909. doi: 10.1001/archpedi.158.9.904

Vaughn, M. G., & Howard, M. O. (2004). Adolescent substance abuse treatment: A synthesis of controlled evaluations. Research on Social Work Practices, 14(5), 325-335. doi: 10.1177/1049731504265834.

Drug and Alcohol Findings. (2002). Holistic therapy preferable for troubled teensDrug and Alcohol Findings Magazine, 7, 13.