Multisystemic Theory and Family Preservation

Create a 3-page paper that discusses multisystemic theory and family preservation. These programs are supported by funding from health agencies, courts, and state services. The primary focus of family preservation strategies is to prevent or lessen the time associated with the separation of children from their families due to conflict. There are several approaches to family preservation, but we will focus on the system known as multisystemic therapy (MST). This approach is based on the home and is highly individualized to address the specific needs of a situation. The target population for MST is serious juvenile offenders (Henggeler, Melton, & Smith, 1992). The multiple systems referred to in the therapy’s name are the different systems involved in an adolescent’s life, such as personal strengths and weaknesses, family involvement, peer relationships, and educational endeavors. MST becomes complex due to the inclusion of many influential systems, but this mirrors the actual intricacy of the issue. We will examine three pieces of research from this field in order to gain a better understanding of the system and its application to the target population. A study by Huey, Henggeler, Brondino, and Pickrel (2000) evaluated MST by focusing on models of influence that can be found within the multisystemic structure of the therapy. The specific factors that they were interested in are the adherence of the therapist to MST structure, improvement of family relationships, and time spent with delinquent peers. The experiment included two independent samples. One group was primarily made up of African Americans while the other included mostly Caucasian subjects. All participants were young males. The results of this study support the importance of underlying constructs in MST. Therapist protocol adherence, improving family relations, and reducing interactions with delinquent peers were all shown to be effective methods for reducing juvenile offenses and related behavior. This study offers important information but faces limitations in generalizability due to the lack of varying situations and the homogeneity within subject groups. Today’s multicultural and increasingly global society requires the constant awareness that research of all forms should be tested in international settings to maximize the generalizability and validity of the information. Ogden and Halliday-Boykins (2004) examined the applicability of MST to antisocial adolescents living in Norway. This experiment compared MST to usual child welfare services (CS). The results indicate that MST is more effective than CS at reducing antisocial symptomology as well as out-of-home placements due to antisocial behavior. This study provides evidence that MST is applicable in international situations and further demonstrates the strength of the model in addressing juvenile domestic problems. Despite a large sample and strong methods, this research has limitations due to the need to redefine constructs in Norwegian, which may result in an incompatibility between this and the original model. Additionally, the results only reflect the situation immediately following MST training, though the researchers noted that they are currently attempting to acquire follow-up information. MST can be used to address a variety of serious juvenile behavior problems.&nbsp.&nbsp.

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