One-year outcomes and mediators of a brief intervention for drug abusing adolescents

Ken C Winters, Susanne S Lee, Andria Botzet, Tamara Fahnhorst, Ali Nicholson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Two manually guided brief interventions were evaluated with a randomized, controlled trial. Adolescents (aged 13-17 years) suspected of abusing alcohol and other drugs and their parent were randomly assigned to receive either a 2-session adolescent only (BI-A), 2-session adolescent and additional parent session (BI-AP), or assessment only control condition (CON). Adolescents were identified in a school setting, and the intervention was delivered by trained counselors. Outcome analyses (N = 284; 90% of those enrolled) of relative change (from intake to 12 months) and absolute status (at 12 months) revealed a general pattern of reductions in drug use behaviors, particularly with the cannabis outcome measures, in both active conditions (BI-A and BI-AP). Students in the control condition showed worse outcome compared with the BI-A and BI-AP groups. Among the 4 mediating variables measured at 6 months, use of additional services, motivation to change, and parenting practices had significant influences on 12-month outcome; problem-solving skills approached significance as a mediator. The potential value of a brief intervention for drug abusing adolescents is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)464-474
Number of pages11
JournalPsychology of Addictive Behaviors
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2014


  • adolescence
  • brief intervention
  • drug abuse

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