This trial is active, not recruiting.

Conditions alcohol abuse, alcohol dependence, cannabis abuse, cannabis dependence, other substance abuse
Treatments adolescent group therapy, transitional family therapy
Phase phase 2/phase 3
Sponsor The Morton Center, Inc.
Collaborator National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
Start date July 1999
End date August 2012
Trial size 120 participants
Trial identifier NCT00484367, NIAAA-STA12178, NIH Grant R01 AA12178, R01AA012178


The purpose of this study is to compare the effectiveness of two psychosocially-based, manual-driven, behavioral modalities. One of these is a standardized version of the established modality of Adolescent Group Therapy (AGT), which includes both psychoeducational and therapeutic components. The other is a state-of-the-art family therapy approach, Transitional Family Therapy (TFT), which integrates management of the current problem with exploration of multigenerational issues. Both approaches have been developed to expressly target adolescent alcohol problems.

United States No locations recruiting
Other Countries No locations recruiting

Study Design

Allocation randomized
Endpoint classification efficacy study
Intervention model parallel assignment
Masking open label
Primary purpose treatment
(Active Comparator)
adolescent group therapy
Adolescent group therapy
(Active Comparator)
transitional family therapy
Transitional family therapy

Primary Outcomes

Alcohol use Cannabis use Other substance use
time frame: Baseline, 3 months post-treatment, 1 year post-treatment, and 2 years post-treatment

Eligibility Criteria

Male or female participants from 13 years up to 17 years old.

Inclusion Criteria: - Male and female outpatients 13-17 years of age at intake. - Participants had a current DSM-IV diagnosis of either alcohol abuse or alcohol dependence. - Participants signed a witnessed informed consent. - Parent or custodian of each (adolescent) participant signed a witnessed informed consent. Exclusion Criteria: - Participants who met current DSM-IV criteria for bipolar disorder, psychotic disorder, or eating disorder. - Enrollment in a residential substance abuse treatment program within 2 months prior to intake.

Additional Information

Official title Family and Group Therapies for Adolescent Alcohol Abuse
Principal investigator Morris D. Stanton, PhD
Description Despite well-founded societal concerns over the use of illicit drugs by youth, alcohol use has persisted for decades as the number one adolescent substance abuse problem in the U.S. Further, research has shown that the earlier the onset of alcohol use, the more likely is a person to develop alcohol dependence later, during adulthood. Consequently, the need is clear for interventions which will arrest this process at the earliest point possible. Hence, interventions that mobilize a youth's social systems to help that young person deal with the problem, i.e., the family and peer systems, would make sense from a number of standpoints. Two primary modalities developed to deal with such issues are those examined here: family therapy and group therapy. The participants were males and females, ages 13-17 at intake, with a DSM-IV diagnosis of either alcohol abuse or alcohol dependence. Following random assignment to condition, basic treatment in both conditions was based on a 12-session model and took approximately 3-4 months, followed by 1-2 aftercare sessions over an additional 1-2 months. The treatment was provided by therapists who were already working within the community (as opposed, for instance, to graduate students). Follow-up assessments were obtained at 3 months post-treatment, 1 year post-treatment, and 2 years post-treatment, thus allowing determination of the extent to which treatment effects "held up" to a degree not attained by most of the previous outcome studies within this domain. Comparisons: AGT and TFT are being compared on the extent to which their participants used alcohol, as well as other substances, during the three post-treatment periods. Other comparisons include school performance (grade point average), family relations/functioning, and involvement with the legal system.
Trial information was received from ClinicalTrials.gov and was last updated in August 2011.
Information provided to ClinicalTrials.gov by The Morton Center, Inc..