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Multisystemic therapy reduces re-offending in young offenders between 12 and 18 months post-treatment

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Is multisystemic therapy (MST) more effective than current statutory UK services at reducing youth offending among urban young offenders?


108 youths aged between 13 and 17 years old on court referral for treatment with a supervision order of at least 3 months, or on license in the community for a minimum of 6 months following imprisonment. Participants had to be living in the home of and being raised by a parent or principal caretaker. Exclusion criteria: sex offenders; presenting with only substance misuse; psychotic illness; risk to study personnel; or involvement of an incompatible agency (eg, ongoing care proceedings).


Two local youth offending services in North London, UK; from 2003 to 2009.


MST or usual care from youth offending teams (YOT) for 6 months. MST is an intensive family- and community-based that targets the drivers of serious antisocial behaviour including individual adjustment, family relationships, school functioning and peer group affiliations. YOT treatment is an extensive evidence-based treatment programme tailored to individual participants. The YOTs target: re-engagement in education; substance …

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