Previous Projects

Parents as Interventionists for Moderate Drug Abusing Adolescents

Parents as Interventionists for Moderate Drug Abusing Adolescents

Study Complete: Home-Based Brief Intervention

This study will develop and test a new, innovative version of a brief intervention (BI) for parents with a teenager aged 12-17 who has already started to use drugs. The BI will be home-based rather than implemented by a counselor in a clinical setting. Stage I (2011) activities will involve the development of the parent training manual and the BI "home" program manual, and a small feasibility study; Stage II (2012-2014) work involves a formal controlled research study.

Study procedures:

Questionnaires and interviews will be administered at baseline and at 3-, 6- and 12-months post-baseline. We hypothesize that the home-based intervention will be beneficial in reducing adolescent substance use and improving parenting skills.
We will examine mediators that may contribute to post-intervention drug use outcomes among adolescents. We expect response to the intervention by the adolescent to be mediated by motivation, cognitions, problem solving, peer drug use, parenting skills and parent self-efficacy.

Recruitment has ended for this project. We are currently analyzing the data and will post the results here in December 2015/January 2016.

Educational Outcomes Study

Educational Outcomes Study

Effectiveness of Recovery High Schools as Continuing Care

This project will examine the efficacy of Recovery High Schools on improving academic outcomes for adolescents with drug abuse problems (2011-2015). The study will be conducted in cooperation with multiple drug abuse treatment facilities and Recovery High Schools in the greater Minneapolis-Saint Paul, Minnesota area. The purpose of this study is to find ways to enhance school environments in order to provide a healthy and supportive learning environment for students. We hope to learn more about how high schools and other factors impact a young person who recently attended a drug treatment program.

Study procedures:

Approximately 914 adolescents will be recruited from a drug abuse treatment facility or a Recovery High School and followed up through 12 months after they have left treatment.
Data will be used to assess whether students attending Recovery High Schools exhibit better academic and drug use outcomes after drug treatment than those attending non-Recovery High Schools.

Recruitment has ended. Follow-up only.

Brief Intervention for Mild to Moderate Alcohol and Drug Abusing Youth

Brief Intervention for Mild to Moderate Alcohol and Drug Abusing Youth

The Brief Intervention (BI) study assessed 12-19 year old adolescents who were experiencing mild to moderate problems due to alcohol and/or drug use, such as an alcohol or drug related infraction in school or in the community, a concerned teacher or parent, or referred by a clinic or other agency.

This study compared two levels of BI therapy with a comparison group. The first BI group consisted of a therapist meeting with the adolescent for two 60-minute sessions. The second BI group also received the same two adolescent sessions with a therapist, but also included a session in which the therapist met individually with the parent/s. The comparison group did not meet with a therapist, but all 3 groups received questionnaire and interview assessments at 4 time points.

Summary of the results

Summary of the results, as reported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA Notes, January 2, 2013).

Youth Drug Abuse, ADHD, and Related Disruptive Disorders - Young Adult

Youth Drug Abuse, ADHD, and Related Disruptive Disorders - Young Adult

Phase 1

This research effort actually began in approximately 1990, at which time the project was called the Minnesota Competence Enhancement Project (MNCEP) in collaboration with Gerry August, Ph.D. and George Realmuto, M.D. The original study compared two large groups of youth: one group showed signs of having Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) during childhood, whereas the other group did not show signs of ADHD during childhood.

The follow-up study was conducted in three different waves - in roughly 2000, 2002, and 2005 - with the intent of seeing how those individuals with and without a history of ADHD symptoms during childhood would compare on various aspects of life as young adults.

Summary of results 

Brief participant summary of the results

Phase 2 - Environmental and Genetic Risk Factors in Drug Use

This study continues the longitudinal assessment of participants from previous studies, and examines the developmental pathways of drug and alcohol use among young adults with the purpose of better understanding the genetic and environmental risks for substance use and mental health concerns among young adults.

Study Procedures:

  • Participants complete an interview and questionnaire to help us examine the environmental risk factors, as mentioned above. 

  • Participants are also asked to provide a DNA sample via a saliva sample. This portion helps us understand the genetic risk factors involved in the development of substance use and mental health concerns.

Summary of the results

Results are currently being analyzed. We will post a summary of the results as they become available.

Assessment and Treatment of Adolescent Drug Abusers

Assessment and Treatment of Adolescent Drug Abusers

This research study examined the life events of 3 groups of adolescents: 1) those who were treated at a local inpatient substance treatment program, 2) those on a waiting list for treatment, and 3) those who were not seeking treatment for substance abuse (comparison group). The purpose of this research effort was to study adolescent alcohol and other drug use and problems resulting from drug and alcohol use over a 5-year period. Participants in this study completed questionnaires and interviews at treatment intake, 3-months posttreatment, 6-months posttreatment, 1-year posttreatment, 4-years posttreatment, and 5 ½ -year posttreatment.

Summary of the results

Brief participant summary of the results