Claire Russell

Doctor of Philosophy, (Psychology)
Study Completed: 2008
College of Humanities & Social Sciences


Thesis Title
Multisystemic Therapy in New Zealand:Effectiveness and Predictors of Outcome

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

Ms Russell assessed the effectiveness of Multisystemic Therapy (MST) for youth displaying antisocial behaviours in New Zealand. A one-group pre-test post-test design involving 73 youth and their families was employed. Predictors and moderators of outcomes were also explored. Youth and their families experienced improvements in ultimate outcomes (offending frequency, offending seriousness, and days in out-of-home placements) and instrumental outcomes (youth positive and negative behaviour, parent psychopathology, parent ability, and family functioning) following MST treatment. Gains were largely maintained at 12 months’ follow-up. In terms of factors that predicted beneficial outcomes, service satisfaction, therapeutic alliance, and therapist adherence predicted higher levels of change in most instrumental outcomes. However, surprisingly, higher supervisor adherence and supervisory alliances were associated with lower therapist adherence, therapeutic alliance, and some client outcomes. This research supports the use of MST in New Zealand while also identifying quality control features that need to be addressed.

Associate Professor Ross Flett
Professor Kevin Ronan

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