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A Randomized Controlled Trial of a Group Motivational Interviewing Intervention for Adolescents with a First Time Alcohol or Drug Offense

NCJ Number
Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment Volume: 45 Issue: 5 Dated: 2013 Pages: 400-08
Elizabeth J. D'Amico; Sarah B. Hunter; Jeremy N.V. Miles; Brett A. Ewing; Karen Chan Osilla
Date Published
9 pages

This paper assesses the impacts of group motivational interviewing interventions targeting youth who are likely to become involved with alcohol and other drug use.


Group motivational interviewing (MI) interventions that target youth at-risk for alcohol and other drug (AOD) use may prevent future negative consequences. Youth in a teen court setting [n = 193; 67% male, 45 percent Hispanic; mean age 16.6 (SD = 1.05)] were randomized to receive either a group MI intervention, Free Talk, or usual care (UC). The authors examined client acceptance, and intervention feasibility and conducted a preliminary outcome evaluation. Free Talk teens reported higher quality and satisfaction ratings, and MI integrity scores were higher for Free Talk groups. AOD use and delinquency decreased for both groups at 3 months, and 12-month recidivism rates were lower but not significantly different for the Free Talk group compared to UC. Results contribute to emerging literature on MI in a group setting. The authors suggest that a longer-term follow-up is warranted. Publisher Abstract Provided