Co-occurring internalizing disorders and treatment outcome in at-risk minority youth attending a family based treatment for behavior problems

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Counseling Psychology

First Committee Member

Robert C. McMahon - Committee Chair


The purpose of this dissertation was to investigate the relationships between co-occurring internalizing problems and treatment outcome in a group of minority youth participating in a family-based therapy for externalizing behavior problems. This study involves a secondary analysis of data collected from minority youth and their families who were recruited into a Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP) demonstration study of Brief Strategic Family Therapy (BSFT). Adolescents completed the interview-based Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children (DISC) at both treatment entry and termination. Parents completed the Revised Behavior Problem Checklist (RBPC) and the Family Assessment Measure (FAM) at treatment entry and termination. Results of multiple regression and logistic regression analyses failed to support study hypotheses. Contrary to expectation, youth with more anxiety problems showed greater reductions in behavior problems at outcome. Diagnostic measures of internalizing disorders did not predict behavior problems at post-treatment. Internalizing problems did not significantly predict family functioning outcome. Further, level of internalizing problems was unrelated to treatment dropout. Ethnicity did predict both dropout and family functioning outcomes. Hispanic participants were less likely to drop out and had better family functioning post-treatment. Results are discussed within the context of the theoretical underpinnings of the intervention and within the context of the relevant literature.


Education, Guidance and Counseling; Psychology, Clinical; Sociology, Ethnic and Racial Studies; Hispanic American Studies

Link to Full Text


Link to Full Text