MST Research & Statistics

  • 62 outcome, implementation, and benchmarking studies involving over 48,000 families included across all studies, has yielded more than 120 peer reviewed journal articles.

For more than 30 years, MST has consistently demonstrated positive outcomes with chronic juvenile offenders. Based on the program’s success, rigorous randomized trials were conducted to explore the feasibility and effects of adaptations of MST with other target populations. Results have been positive for treating problem sexual behavior, child abuse and neglect, substance abuse, serious emotional disturbances and chronic health care conditions. This document highlights the many areas of MST research and proven outcomes with traditional MST and MST clinical adaptations as well as research on the transport of MST to community practice settings.

Download Complete List Of MST Outcome Studies

• 62 published outcome, implementation and benchmarking studies
• Yielding more than 120 published, peer-reviewed journal articles
• More than 48,000 families included across all studies
• 25 randomized trials
• 41 of the 62 studies conducted by independent researchers (not involving an MST model developer)
• 16 outcome studies using MST with serious juvenile offenders:
• 11 randomized trials
• 7 independent studies
• 2 international studies
• 12 outcome studies using MST with adolescents with serious conduct problems
• 4 randomized trials
• 11 independent studies
• 6 international studies
• 2 outcome studies with substanceabusing or -dependent juvenile offenders (MST-Substance Abuse)
• 3 outcome studies with juvenile sexual offenders (MST-Problem Sexual Behavior)
• 3 outcome studies with youths presenting serious emotional disturbance (MST-Psychiatric)
• 3 outcome studies with maltreating families (MST-Child Abuse and Neglect)
• 6 outcome studies with adolescents with chronic health care conditions (MST-Health Care)
• 5 independent
• 15 implementation studies
• 11 independent
• 13 treatment process studies
• 10 independent
• 10 cost related studies
• 5 independent

• Long-term re-arrest rates in studies with serious juvenile offenders reduced by median of 42%
• Out-of-home placements, across all MST studies, reduced by a median of 54%
• Improved family functioning
• Decreased substance use among youth
• Fewer mental-health problems for youth
• Higher levels of client satisfaction
• Considerable cost savings

A 22-year, follow-up study showed youths who received MST had
• 36% fewer felony arrests
• 75% fewer violent felony arrests
• 33% fewer days incarcerated
• 37% fewer divorce, paternity and child support suits
• 56% fewer felony arrests for siblings

MST has proven the importance of treatment adherence
• High therapist adherence can reduce the number of youth criminal charges by 36 percent
• High supervisor adherence can reduce the number of youth criminal charges by 53 percent
(See publications in Study #11)

MST has been effectively transported to community practice settings
• MST currently has more than 500 active programs.
• Adherence measures demonstrate that MST is being delivered with high levels of fidelity.
• Outcomes in community practice settings are similar to those of university-based trials.

MST theory of change has been supported by treatment process research
• Mediation and qualitative studies have demonstrated the importance of improving family relations as the mechanism to reduce youth antisocial behavior.
(See publications in Studies #8, #22, #26, #29, #31, #39 and #54)