Effectiveness Trial of Treatment to Reduce Serious Antisocial Behavior in Emerging Adults with Mental Illness

CO-PIs: Maryann Davis PhD, Ashli J Sheidow PhD

Project Director: Rachael Perrault, M.A.

Time Frame: April 1, 2016 - March 31, 2020

Funded by: National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Grant# 1 R01 MH108793-01

The purpose of this study is to test the effectiveness of a promising intervention for emerging adults with mental illness and serious antisocial behavior for reducing antisocial behavior. It will test whether reductions in antisocial behavior are achieved through increasing self-regulation, engagement in school and/or work, stable housing, positive relationships, and reductions in mental health symptoms and  substance use. The intervention, Multisystemic Therapy for Emerging Adults (MST-EA), is an adaptation of MST, a well-established, effective intervention to reduce antisocial behavior in adolescents.

There are no antisocial behavior interventions that have any evidence of efficacy in emerging adults, with or without mental illness. A different approach for treatment of this population is needed. MST-EA targets factors that are particularly important during the emerging adult years, that are likely to support a more successful young adulthood. Developing an age tailored approach for young adults is aligned with Institute of Medicine conclusions.

The randomized controlled trial will compare outcomes in 17-21 year old participants assigned to receive MST-EA to those assigned to receive enhanced usual services. Outcomes are assessed through multiple sources, including participants, collaterals and archival records. This research is being conducted in the greater New Haven and Hartford CT areas, with the CT Department of Children and Families providing funding for the two MST-EA teams, which are contracted with the North American Family Institute.