U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Motivational Enhancement and Other Brief Interventions for Adolescent Substance Abuse: Foundations, Applications and Evaluations

NCJ Number
Addiction Volume: 99 Issue: 2 Dated: November 2004 Pages: 63-75
Tracy O'Leary Tevyaw; Peter M. Monti
Cherry Lowman
Date Published
November 2004
13 pages
This report presents a comprehensive review of the foundations, applications, and evaluations in the use of motivational enhancement, as well as other brief interventions for adolescent substance abuse.
Brief interventions, addressing and enhancing motivation to change, were developed by clinical researchers as shorter term and less extensive treatment for substance abuse problems or addictive behaviors. These brief interventions, such as motivational enhancement have made a significant impact. Brief intervention has the singular focus of targeting problematic behaviors in a certain systematic and specific manner. The common elements of brief interventions are feedback or assessment, responsibility for change, advice on change, menu of options, empathy through behaviors, and self-efficacy, known as FRAMES. The brief intervention, motivational enhancement is grounded in client-centered therapy, social learning theory, and cognitive-behavioral therapy. In this intervention, the treatment provider uses specific techniques to facilitate identification and recognition of problematic behavior and to help the individual move toward change; an empathic style is demonstrated. Results of several studies with adolescents and college students have shown positive results in the use of motivational enhancement which stem primarily from reductions in alcohol-related problems and reductions in drinking. In order to translate and export the effective research into practice, additional research is necessary in examining the essential elements of motivational interventions, such as for whom do they work best and their impact on developmental transitions during adolescence.