skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 221048 Find in a Library
Title: Resistance in Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment: A Literature Synthesis
Journal: Journal of Social Work Practice in the Addictions  Volume:7  Issue:3  Dated:2007  Pages:5-28
Author(s): Debra E. Orr-Brown; Darcy Clay Siebert
Date Published: 2007
Page Count: 24
Type: Literature Review
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This comprehensive analysis of recent literature on adolescent substance abuse treatment highlights strategies used to handle adolescents' resistance to treatment.
Abstract: After reviewing various concepts of resistance proposed in the literature, the author concludes that an integrative framework for defining resistance offers the best approach for examining resistance to treatment. Arkowitz (2002), for example, suggests combining the common elements of various conceptions of resistance under the term "ambivalence." Ambivalence occurs when clients believe that change will improve their lives and have progressed so far as to identify strategies for implementing new behaviors; however, this is accompanied by a vacillation between adopting and avoiding the tasks necessary to achieve new behaviors. After discussing the conception of resistance to treatment, this article reviews substance abuse treatment methods used with adolescents. These include various family therapies and individual and group therapies. The author concludes that most of the treatment methods currently used with adolescent substance abusers do not adequately incorporate interventions specifically designed to reduce resistance. The author notes, however, that motivational interviewing (MI) is a treatment method designed to assist therapists in working with clients to address resistance to treatment. MI, as defined by Miller (1996), is "a directive client-centered counseling approach for initiating behavior change by helping clients resolve ambivalence." This approach is designed to address client resistance by requiring the therapist to view resistance as ambivalence and to structure responses to resistance so that the client addresses his/her ambivalence constructively. Research on MI outcomes have found that its use improves client engagement in the therapeutic process and reduces substance abuse. 48 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile drug treatment
Index Term(s): Adolescent attitudes; Behavior modification; Drug treatment programs; Juvenile treatment methods; Motivation; Treatment effectiveness
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.