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Seeking Effective Interventions for Serious Young Offenders

Interim Results of a Four-Year Randomized Study of Multisystemic Therapy in Ontario, Canada

A.W. Leschied & Alison Cunningham (2002)

This report contains a complete description of the MST project and all analyses performed on the follow-up data available at September, 2001. The results are presented in the context of the entire ecology of implementation. Readers reviewing MST for potential adoption in their jurisdictions will find this report helpful in understanding the contingencies that arise when implementing this expensive and challenging intervention. Details of the methodology are also described.

More recent follow-up data are to be found in

One Step Forward: Lessons Learned from a Randomized Study of Multisystemic Therapy in Canada (2002)

Randomized Study of MST in Ontario, Canada: Final Results


Preface (51 KB) PDF logo

Dedication * Acknowledgements * Table of Contents * Summary of Recommendations * Executive Summary

Chapter 1

Overview of the MST Study (234 KB) PDF logo

What we Know so Far * Multisystemic Therapy * Treatment Theory * Treatment Modality * Training and Supervision * Evaluation Strategy * Efficacy and Effectiveness * Need for Independent Evaluation * Applicability of American Findings to Canada * Experimental Design * Outcome Measures and Follow-up * Post Hoc Analysis: Why Weren't the American Results Replicated in Ontario? * The Canadian Context * Characteristics of the Youths * Implementation in Ontario * Research Methodology * Ecological Model of MST Implementation * Federal Government * Provincial Government of Ontario * MST Oversight * Communities and their Agencies Implementing MST * Participating Families * The Future of MST in Ontario * Where do we go From Here? * The Importance of Good Research * Attending to Program Integrity and Fidelity * Improving Interventions for Chronic Young Offenders

Chapter 2

Research Questions and Key Findings (173 KB) PDF logo

A Note on Statistics * Number Needed to Treat * Risk Ratio and Percentage Difference * Standardized Mean Difference * Cox Regression * Moving Beyond Group Differences * Research Questions and Empirical Answers * Are Recipients of MST Less Likely to be Convicted of Offences Than Youth who did not Receive MST?* Do Recipients of MST who Offend do so after a Longer Period? * Are Recipients of MST Less Likely to be Sentenced to Youth Custody? * Do Recipients of MST Spend Less Time in Custody? * Are Recipients of MST Re-convicted of Fewer Offences than Youths who did not Receive MST? * Are Those who Drop out of MST More Likely to Offend Than Program Completers? * Do Recipients of MST Commit Less Serious Offences? * Will the Cost of the MST Intervention be Recouped by Savings to the Correctional System? * Will the MST Intervention Reduce Problems Measured by Psychological Testing?

Chapter 3

Canadian Federal Government (207 KB) PDF logo

Youth Justice in Canada * The Young Offenders Act * Youth Custody in Canada * The Federal Youth Justice Renewal Initiative * Replacing the Young Offenders Act * Cost-sharing Agreements * Funding Innovative Pilot Programs * National Crime Prevention Centre * The Cost-Benefit Approach to Prevention * Net Benefit of MST in Ontario

Chapter 4

MST and the Ontario Provincial Government (181 KB) PDF logo

The Province of Ontario * Youth Justice in Ontario * The Climate of the Political Ecology in Ontario * Ministry of Community and Social Services * Young Offender Services * Risk/Need Assessment * Ministry of Correctional Services * MST and Phase II Youth * Adolescent Women * Males and Females at Referral * Treatment Effect of MST with Males and Females * Justice Processing of Males and Females After Discharge

Chapter 5

MST and the Oversight of MST Services Inc. (1,379 KB) PDF logo

Family Services Research Center * Randomized Studies * What is MST? * MST Services Inc. * Go/No Go Decisions and MST * MST Training * MST Adherence * The Costs of MST * MST Licensing * The Future Development of MST in the United States

Chapter 6

Communities and their MST Teams (326 KB) PDF logo

Site Selection * Early Implementation * Overall Implementation * On-Going MST TrainingTherapist Attrition * MST Adherence * Simcoe Co. * London * Mississauga * Ottawa


Appendix A, B, and C (129 KB) PDF logo

A. Research Methodology * B. Site Specific Tables and Figures * C. Characteristics of Referrals

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