This trial is active, not recruiting.

Conditions delinquency, substance abuse
Treatment rays intervention
Phase phase 2
Sponsor Pro-Change Behavior Systems
Collaborator Iowa Juvenile Court Services
Start date August 2013
End date October 2016
Trial size 1000 participants
Trial identifier NCT02023827, 5R44DA024900


Juvenile crime imposes enormous costs on victims, on society, and on juvenile offenders themselves. However, research assessing the efficacy of interventions for young offenders show, on average, only small effects on recidivism, substance abuse, and other behavioral outcomes. A major problem with existing interventions is that they tend to neglect individual differences in motivation and readiness to make positive changes. In earlier research, we used an empirically validated model of behavior change, the Transtheoretical Model (TTM, the "stage" model), and expert system technology to develop the Rise Above Your Situation program (RAYS), a prototype of a multimedia computerized tailored intervention designed as an adjunct to traditional juvenile justice programs. The intervention delivers assessments and individualized feedback matched to readiness to stay out of trouble with the law and quit alcohol and drugs. At the end each session the program also generates a helpgiver report that summarizes the youth's feedback and presents concrete, easy-to-implement strategies helpgivers can use to reinforce stage-matched concepts. In the current research, the goals are to complete development of the computerized tailored intervention; develop training and other support materials for helpgivers; and assess the efficacy of the intervention package in a randomized clinical trial involving 700 medium- to high-risk court-involved juveniles aged 13-17 recruited by 54 probation officers randomly assigned to treatment or standard care. Primary outcomes will be criminal recidivism and substance abuse abstinence at 6 and 12 months follow-up.

United States No locations recruiting
Other countries No locations recruiting

Study Design

Allocation randomized
Endpoint classification efficacy study
Intervention model parallel assignment
Masking single blind (subject)
Primary purpose treatment
In addition to standard care, participants receive three monthly online RAYS sessions, each followed by a one-on-one discussion with the probation officer
rays intervention
The Rise Above Your Situation program (RAYS) is a multimedia computer-tailored intervention that relies on the Transtheoretical Model of Behavior Change (TTM) and expert system technology to deliver assessments, feedback, printed reports, and helpgiver reports with intervention ideas. Helpgivers (probation officers in this case) use the reports to guide 1/2 hour follow-up discussions to reinforce intervention ideas and provide support.
(No Intervention)
Participants receive standard care from the probation officer

Primary Outcomes

Criminal recidivism based on self-report
time frame: 12 months follow-up
Criminal recidivism based on official records
time frame: 12 months follow-up
Substance use abstinence based on self-report
time frame: 12 months follow-up

Secondary Outcomes

Total count of criminal behavior based on self-report
time frame: 12 months follow-up
Stage of change for staying out of trouble with the law
time frame: 12 months follow-up
Emotional distress
time frame: 12 months follow-up
Substance use frequency
time frame: 12 months follow-up
Substance-related problems
time frame: 12 months follow-up
Stage of change for quitting alcohol and drugs
time frame: 12 months follow-up
Abstinence confirmed by urine drug testing
time frame: 12 months follow-up

Eligibility Criteria

Male or female participants at least 13 years old.

Inclusion Criteria: Juvenile offenders: - Score in the moderate- to high-risk range on the short-form Iowa Delinquency Assessment - Age 13 to 17 at the time of recruitment - Able to understand and read English Probation officers: - Employed by Iowa Juvenile Court Services - Work with moderate- to high-risk youth

Additional Information

Official title Computerized Stage-Matched Intervention for Juvenile Offenders
Principal investigator Deborah A Levesque, Ph.D.
Description Fifty-four probation officers employed by the Iowa's Juvenile Court Services agreed to participate in the study and to be randomly assigned to treatment or standard care. A Multiattribute Utility Measurement Approach (Graham, Flay, Johnson, Hansen, & Collins, 1984) was used to ensure that probation officers assigned to the two conditions were approximately equivalent on level of education, years of experience working with juvenile offenders, number of hours of training on the TTM, and confidence using the TTM in their work. Probation officers were responsible for recruiting moderate- and high-risk youth on probation, and delivering baseline assessment sessions and intervention sessions. However, local project site coordinators were available to provide assistance, as needed. Computerized follow-up assessments and urine drug testing at 6 and 12 months follow-up are being administered by "trackers" at a time and place that is convenient for the youth. Study protocols include best practices (Scott, 2004) for maximizing retention at follow-up in research involving high-risk populations.
Trial information was received from ClinicalTrials.gov and was last updated in September 2016.
Information provided to ClinicalTrials.gov by Pro-Change Behavior Systems.