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The effectiveness of a community-based intensive intervention for young people with complex psychological and forensic needs

Panesar, Varinder Kaur (2010)
Foren.Psy.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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This thesis examined the effectiveness of an intensive, community-based intervention for youth presenting with complex psychological needs, and their families, and discussed the need to understand and address the multiple risk and protective factors across several systems associated with aggressive, violent, antisocial and offending behaviour in young people, in order to intervene effectively. The intervention is based on the principles of Multi-Systemic Therapy (MST), a renowned intensive, community-based intervention for aggressive, violent and antisocial young people, which is explored in the literature review (Chapter 1). The available evidence-base on MST demonstrates that the behaviour of young people considered at significant risk to themselves and/or others can be managed safely within the community, while engaging their caregivers and wider ecology to effect positive changes that are sustainable. The research study (Chapter 2) reports on a modest sample of 17 young people and 12 caregivers who completed research measures prior to and following the receipt of the intensive intervention based on MST principles aimed at improving youth and family functioning. Positive changes in both individual functioning and family environment observed were found to be consistent with the existing evidence-base regarding the effectiveness of community based interventions. This provides support for moving away from traditional office-based approaches to engaging these clients in order to prevent further deterioration in behaviour and subsequent placement of the young person away from his/her family and community. A discussion surrounding the use of psychometric measures provides insight into the role of the family environment in assessing and intervening with this client group in Chapter 3. Finally, the importance of recognising families as the key to a successful system of care is further explored in the case study in Chapter 4. Overall, this thesis provides support for the abandonment of a simplistic superficial understanding of social, emotional, and behavioural difficulties in young people to a more ecological, dynamic approach, which has implications for prevention of the detrimental and long lasting costs of youth social, emotional and behavioural difficulties.

Type of Work:Foren.Psy.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Beech, Anthony R.
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
Department:School of Psychology, Centre for Forensic and Criminal Psychology
Keywords:Multisystemic therapy, aggressive and violent behaviour, antisocial and offending behaviour, family-based intervention, adolescents at risk of care or custody
Subjects:BF Psychology
HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:713
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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