Long-term preventive effects of multisystemic therapy on criminality in siblings of juvenile offenders
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In this study, the author examined the long-term criminal outcomes of 110 nonreferred siblings of serious and violent juvenile offenders who had participated in either multisystemic therapy (MST) or individual therapy (IT) in a randomized clinical trial (Borduin et al., 1995). Arrest and incarceration data were obtained on average 25.0 years later when siblings were on average 38.4 years old. Intent-to-treat analyses showed that recidivism rates were significantly lower for siblings in the MST condition than for siblings in the IT condition (43.3% vs. 72.0%, respectively). In addition, siblings in the IT condition were about three times as likely to be convicted of a felony and more than twice as likely to be sentenced to incarceration and probation during adulthood. This investigation represents the longest and most comprehensive follow-up to date of sibling participants in a family-based treatment and demonstrates that MST has long-term benefits for brothers and sisters of serious and violent juvenile offenders.