Multisystemic Therapy for Emerging Adults MST-EA (NIDA)

Based on Research Conducted at OSLC

This study (NIDA #R01 DA041425-01) will evaluate the effectiveness of comprehensive treatment for justice-involved emerging adults with alcohol and other drug (AOD) abuse, as well as examining the mechanism of action for such treatments.

Project Overview

MST-EA NIDA will test a treatment for serious antisocial behavior (i.e., criminal offending) and co-occurring alcohol and other drug (AOD) abuse in emerging adults (EAs). Prevalence of AOD abuse and criminal activity is highest during emerging adulthood compared to any other developmental period, and causes extraordinary costs to society. They also frequently occur together; EAs (ages 17-21) with AOD abuse have greater incarceration rates than EAs without AOD abuse, and AOD-abusing offenders have significantly more recidivism, severe offending, and incarceration than other offenders. Such serious behavior interferes with successful transition into adulthood –school completion, employment, housing. Thus, there is a strong public health need for effective treatment to reduce AOD abuse and justice involvement in EAs. The intervention to be tested in this study is an adaptation of the well-established effective juvenile antisocial behavior intervention, Multisystemic Therapy (MST). MST-EA is a single source that targets the EA correlates of antisocial behavior, including gainful activity (school, work, housing, and positive relationships) and reduced substance use, in part by targeting the proximal mechanism of poor self-regulation. This study will evaluate MST-EA’s effectiveness and the mechanisms of action for treatments in this population. The study is being conducted in collaboration with the University of Massachusetts School of Medicine and the Connecticut Department of Children and Families.

Year Project Began: 2016
Funder: National Institute on Drug Abuse

Principal Investigator

Ashli J. Sheidow, Ph.D.

Senior Research Scientist
Oregon Social Learning Center

Active Research Projects

Primary Research and Clinical Interests

Dr. Sheidow researches treatments for mental health and substance abuse problems in adolescents and emerging adults, particularly those who have co-occurring problems. She’s also focused on effective dissemination of evidence-based practices, in particular training practices for community-based counselors.

Dr. Sheidow’s research interests have focused broadly on the development, prevention, and treatment of adolescent and young adult psychopathology and delinquency from an ecological perspective, with concentrations in co-occurring disorders, effective dissemination of evidence-based practices, and advanced quantitative methods. Her work, funded primarily by NIDA and NIMH, has included intervention development and evaluation projects, as well as dissemination and implementation research. She is on the editorial boards of the Journal of Child and Adolescent Substance Abuse and the Journal of Behavioral Health Services Research, and has led programming for national conferences on adolescent substance abuse research.