Multisystemic Therapy for Disruptive Behavior Problems in Youths with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Results from a Small Randomized Clinical Trial

David V. Wagner, Charles M. Borduin, Micah O. Mazurek, Stephen M. Kanne, Alex R. Dopp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Youths with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often display disruptive behaviors, yet few of the available treatments for such behaviors have been effective with this clinical population. In the present study, the authors examined outcomes for youths with ASD who participated in a randomized clinical trial of multisystemic therapy (MST), a treatment that has previously been adapted for a variety of complex problem behaviors in youths. Participants were youths with an ASD diagnosis and comorbid disruptive behaviors (N = 15) who were randomized to MST or usual community services. Measures of youth-, parent-, and family-level outcomes were obtained at 6 and 12 months postrecruitment. Findings indicated that MST was more effective that usual community services in improving family functioning and ameliorating youth problem behaviors. The present study represents the first clinical trial of MST for youths with ASD and comorbid disruptive behaviors. The results suggest that intensive family-based treatments such as MST hold considerable promise with this clinical population. The implications of these findings for the continued development and evaluation of effective treatments for ASD are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)42-54
Number of pages13
JournalEvidence-Based Practice in Child and Adolescent Mental Health
Volume4
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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