Based on the 2003-2004 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 1.5 million youth aged 12-17 years (6.1% of youth in that age range) needed treatment for alcohol abuse, and alcohol is the primary drug reported by 19% of the adolescent treatment population. Recent intervention research on adolescent alcohol abuse has focused primarily on school-based, community, or ER populations. Although new outpatient family-based and contingency-management (CM) interventions for adolescent marijuana abuse have been developed, not one of them specifically targets adolescent primary alcohol users. We could find no published outpatient randomized trial specifically targeting alcohol abuse in adolescents. Thus, little is known about how to most effectively intervene with primary adolescent alcohol abuse and dependence in an outpatient setting. Our goal is to adapt our family-based CM treatment to target primary adolescent alcohol abuse and dependence.
Specific Aim 1 is to provide a preliminary demonstration of the efficacy of a familybased CM intervention to treat adolescent alcohol abuse and dependence. CM components include 1) an incentive program to enhance the adolescent's engagement in the treatment process and engender alcohol abstinence by providing positive reinforcement for documented abstinence via breathalyzers administered by parents regularly at home, self and parent report, and clinic-based urine drug testing;and 2) a parent management training program to enhance and maintain the positive effects of the incentive program by teaching parents how to effectively use contingency management in the home environment to motivate their adolescent to achieve abstinence and improve their behavior in other domains. A randomized trial will determine whether the CM intervention enhances outcomes when added to a standard individual cognitive behavioral therapy.
Specific Aim 2 is to determine whether and how treatment interventions modify parental and adolescent risk and protective factors using observational and laboratory measures (parenting practices, family functioning, risk taking, delay discounting, and child and parent psychopathology) and to determine whether these factors are associated with outcomes over time. Findings will extend the scientific evidence for CM and support the ability of parents to implement CM at home. Findings that support the CM model's efficacy will make a significant contribution to research on the treatment of adolescent alcohol abuse, which has lagged behind research on adult substance abuse and on adolescent illicit drug use. Future projects will include isolation of active treatment components, dissemination to community clinics, and cost-effectiveness studies.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
Research Project (R01)
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Study Section
Health Services Research Review Subcommittee (AA)
Program Officer
Mattson, Margaret
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University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
Schools of Medicine
Little Rock
United States
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Knapp, Ashley A; Babbin, Steven F; Budney, Alan J et al. (2018) Psychometric assessment of the marijuana adolescent problem inventory. Addict Behav 79:113-119
Stanger, Catherine; Scherer, Emily A; Babbin, Steven F et al. (2017) Abstinence based incentives plus parent training for adolescent alcohol and other substance misuse. Psychol Addict Behav 31:385-392
Babbin, Steven F; Stanger, Catherine; Scherer, Emily A et al. (2016) Identifying treatment response subgroups for adolescent cannabis use. Addict Behav 59:72-9
Stanger, Catherine; Elton, Amanda; Ryan, Stacy R et al. (2013) Neuroeconomics and adolescent substance abuse: individual differences in neural networks and delay discounting. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry 52:747-755.e6
Ryan, Stacy R; Stanger, Catherine; Thostenson, Jeff et al. (2013) The impact of disruptive behavior disorder on substance use treatment outcome in adolescents. J Subst Abuse Treat 44:506-14
Stanger, Catherine; Budney, Alan J; Bickel, Warren K (2013) A developmental perspective on neuroeconomic mechanisms of contingency management. Psychol Addict Behav 27:403-15
Brown, Pamela C; Budney, Alan J; Thostenson, Jeff D et al. (2013) Initiation of abstinence in adolescents treated for marijuana use disorders. J Subst Abuse Treat 44:384-90
Stanger, Catherine; Ryan, Stacy R; Fu, Hongyun et al. (2012) Delay discounting predicts adolescent substance abuse treatment outcome. Exp Clin Psychopharmacol 20:205-12
Stanger, Catherine; Ryan, Stacy R; Fu, Hongyun et al. (2011) Parent training plus contingency management for substance abusing families: a Complier Average Causal Effects (CACE) analysis. Drug Alcohol Depend 118:119-26
Stanger, Catherine; Budney, Alan J (2010) Contingency management approaches for adolescent substance use disorders. Child Adolesc Psychiatr Clin N Am 19:547-62

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