Family Therapy: Small Effectiveness

Small effectiveness: 0.31

What is Family Therapy?

1. Emphasizes family as important to psychological health, therapy involves the family origor-ovsyannykov-427217-unsplash (1) couple.

2. Average sessions 5-20, brief

3. Therapist may focus on analyzing specific previous instances of conflict, as by reviewing a past incident and suggesting alternative ways family members might have responded to one another during it.

4. More interested in maintenance and solving problems rather than identifying single cause.



0.24 small effect: reduced severe substance abuse, delinquency, and comorbid behaviors in adolescents (van der Pol, Hoeve, Noom, Stams, Doreleijers, van Domburgh, & Vermeiren, 2017)

0.48 small to moderate effect: reduce disruptive behaviors and severe substance abuse in adolescents (Hartnett, Carr, Hamilton, & O’Reilly, 2016)

0.21 small effect: family therapy performed better than treatment as usual (Baldwin, Christian, Berkeljon, Shadish, & Bean, 2012)



Baldwin, S. A., Christian, S., Berkeljon, A., Shadish, W. R., & Bean, R. (2012). The effects of family therapies for adolescent delinquency and substance abuse: A meta‐analysis. Journal Of Marital And Family Therapy, 38(1), 281-304. doi:10.1111/j.1752-0606.2011.00248.x

Hartnett, D., Carr, A., Hamilton, E., & O’Reilly, G. (2016). The effectiveness of functional family therapy for adolescent behavioral and substance misuse problems: A meta‐analysis. Family Process, doi:10.1111/famp.12256

van der Pol, T. M., Hoeve, M., Noom, M. J., Stams, G. M., Doreleijers, T. H., van Domburgh, L., & Vermeiren, R. M. (2017). Research review: The effectiveness of multidimensional family therapy in treating adolescents with multiple behavior problems—A meta‐analysis. Journal Of Child Psychology And Psychiatry, 58(5), 532-545. doi:10.1111/jcpp.12685

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