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Treatment of Criminal Behavior: Family Therapy

This entry focuses on cost-effective approaches to family interventions related to treating or preventing criminal behavior. Two family therapy approaches with the strongest evidence base for reducing delinquency are Functional Family Therapy (FFT) and multisystemic therapy. These behaviorally oriented family system approaches teach parenting skills, which has been shown to reduce problem behavior, juvenile recidivism, and adult criminal behavior. These two models have been disseminated fairly widely in the United States, with state and federal funding.

The high cost of training professionals in these approaches and the ongoing expense to ensure treatment fidelity to the training model often make this approach unsustainable over time. Agency staff turnover is often high, requiring training of new staff. Ongoing supervision of trainees tends to improve but does not ...

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