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Gang involvement moderates the effectiveness of evidence-based intervention for justice-involved youth

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  • Boxer, Paul
  • Kubik, Joanna
  • Ostermann, Michael
  • Veysey, Bonita

Abstract

There are no validated, evidence-based intervention approaches to helping youth who are involved in gang activity. The goal of this study was to evaluate the impact of gang involvement on the effectiveness of evidence-based intervention services for problem behavior delivered to youth referred by the justice system. We analyzed data drawn from 421 youth (69% male; M age=15.08years, SD=1.32; 38% Black/African-American, 18% Latino/a, 34% White, 10% other) referred consecutively over a 13-month period for Multisystemic Therapy (MST; Henggeler, Schoenwald, Borduin, Rowland, & Cunningham, 2009) across clinical service sites in 7 different Eastern states of the US. Outcomes were indicated by successful or unsuccessful case closures, and gang involvement was indicated by a validated multi-factored classification scheme. We conducted analyses of outcomes related to gang involvement for the whole sample as well as a propensity score-matched (PSM) reduced sample. Analyses of treatment success rates indicate that gang involvement significantly and substantially reduces the effectiveness of MST in this population.

Suggested Citation

  • Boxer, Paul & Kubik, Joanna & Ostermann, Michael & Veysey, Bonita, 2015. "Gang involvement moderates the effectiveness of evidence-based intervention for justice-involved youth," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 26-33.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:cysrev:v:52:y:2015:i:c:p:26-33
    DOI: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2015.02.012
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Fox, Kathleen A. & Lane, Jodi & Akers, Ronald L., 2010. "Do perceptions of neighborhood disorganization predict crime or victimization? An examination of gang member versus non-gang member jail inmates," Journal of Criminal Justice, Elsevier, vol. 38(4), pages 720-729, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Hennigan, Karen M. & Kolnick, Kathy A. & Vindel, Flor & Maxson, Cheryl L., 2015. "Targeting youth at risk for gang involvement: Validation of a gang risk assessment to support individualized secondary prevention," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 86-96.
    2. Mohd Azam, Siti Balqis & Abu Bakar, Siti Hajar & Mohd Yusoff, Jal Zabdi & Abdul Rauf, Siti Hajar, 2021. "A case study on academic and vocational training for child offenders undergoing a multisystemic therapy-based rehabilitation order in Malaysia," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 122(C).
    3. Boxer, Paul & Docherty, Meagan & Ostermann, Michael & Kubik, Joanna & Veysey, Bonita, 2017. "Effectiveness of Multisystemic Therapy for gang-involved youth offenders: One year follow-up analysis of recidivism outcomes," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 107-112.

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