Model Program

Multidimensional Family Therapy (MDFT)

University of Miami, School of Medical Center
1400 10th Ave. NW, 11th Floor, Mail Stop M-711
Miami, FL 33136
http://phs.os.dhhs.gov/ophs/BestPractice/mdft_miami.htm

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Contact Information:
Howard A. Liddle
Director
305.243.6434
hliddle@med.miami.edu

Program Specification:

Emphasis:

Gender:

Rating:

Prevention
Intervention

Both

Moderate Evidence of Effectiveness

Age/Grade Level:

Target Settings:

Target Groups:

Middle School
High School

Urban
Suburban

Individuals

Ethnicity:

Other Participation Criteria:

All Ethnicities

Description:

Multidimensional Family Therapy (MDFT) is a comprehensive and flexible family-based program for substance-abusing adolescents or those at high risk for substance use and other problem behaviors. MDFT is a multicomponent and multilevel intervention system. There is also a substance abuse prevention version of MDFT for early adolescents. Interventions are solution-focused and strive to obtain immediate and practical impact on the youth's everyday environment. MDFT has been designed, adapted, and tested in a variety of different versions - as a standalone or part of a broader program.

Program Descriptors Include:
Behavior Management/Discipline, Extra Curricular, Family/Parental Involvement, Substance Abuse, Life Skills Training

Starting Date: Unspecified
Students Served Per Year: Unspecified
Last Verified: 2009

Risk Factors:

Protective Factors:

Program addresses the following:

Individual factors

  • High-risk peer group
  • High-risk social behavior
  • Low achievement
  • Lack of effort
  • No extracurricular participation
  • Misbehavior

Community factors

  • Youth social attitudes

Program promotes the following:

Relationships

  • Opportunities and rewards for pro-social involvement
  • Clear social norms

Independence

  • Healthy/conventional beliefs and standards

Creativity

  • Problem-solving skills

Optimism

  • High expectations by community, family, school, and self

Program Resources:

Annual Cost:

Unspecified

Funding Sources Include:

Program Staff Includes:

Unspecified

Counselors
Social Workers

Materials Used:

Supporting / Partner Organizations:

Unspecified

Unspecified

Evaluation Information:

Studies support the effectiveness of the MDFT treatment system among diverse samples of adolescents, including several randomized controlled clinical trials. Studies found that, compared to other types of treatment, MDFT significantly: decreased substance abuse, with gains maintained up to one year post-treatment; decreased delinquent behavior, arrests, and placement on probation; reduced affiliation with delinquent and drug-using peers; decreased disruptive school behavior over comparison youth; increased rate of passing grades over comparison youth. When used for prevention, compared with controls, adolescents who received MDFT exhibited increased bonding to school and decreased association with antisocial peers.

How evaluation data was collected:
Data collected and analyzed at state or organizational level