Multidimensional Predictors of Treatment Outcome in Usual Care for Adolescent Conduct Problems and Substance Use

Aaron Hogue, Craig E. Henderson, Adam T. Schmidt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


This study investigated baseline client characteristics that predicted long-term treatment outcomes among adolescents referred from school and community sources and enrolled in usual care for conduct and substance use problems. Predictor effects for multiple demographic (age, sex, race/ethnicity), clinical (baseline symptom severity, comorbidity, family discord), and developmental psychopathology (behavioral dysregulation, depression, peer delinquency) characteristics were examined. Participants were 205 adolescents (52 % male; mean age 15.7 years) from diverse backgrounds (59 % Hispanic American, 21 % African American, 15 % multiracial, 6 % other) residing in a large inner-city area. As expected, characteristics from all three predictor categories were related to various aspects of change in externalizing problems, delinquent acts, and substance use at one-year follow-up. The strongest predictive effect was found for baseline symptom severity: Youth with greater severity showed greater clinical gains. Higher levels of co-occurring developmental psychopathology characteristics likewise predicted better outcomes. Exploratory analyses showed that change over time in developmental psychopathology characteristics (peer delinquency, depression) was related to change in delinquent acts and substance use. Implications for serving multiproblem adolescents and tailoring treatment plans in routine care are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)380-394
Number of pages15
JournalAdministration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2017


  • Adolescent mental health treatment
  • Adolescent substance use treatment
  • Outcome predictors
  • Usual care


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