Family Assessment Laboratory

Director: Charles M. Borduin

The Family Assessment Laboratory is the home of several lines of research that focus on children and their social systems (families, peer groups, schools, neighborhoods). A continuing focus of our work has been on the evaluation, refinement, and dissemination of Multisystemic Therapy (MST), a family- and community-based treatment approach developed for youths presenting serious behavioral and emotional problems, including violent and chronic antisocial behavior. Another continuing focus of our research has been on the identification of systemic correlates and causes of child and adolescent psychopathology, including both internalizing and externalizing disorders. We have also been examining the developmental sequelae of different forms of maltreatment (sexual abuse, physical abuse, neglect) in children and adolescents.

Some of the projects currently being completed in the Family Assessment Lab include:

  • National and international dissemination of multisystemic therapy: Clinical outcomes with problem sexual behavior youths and their families.
  • Adaptation of multisystemic therapy to youths with autism spectrum disorders: A randomized clinical trial
  • 20-year follow-up to a randomized clinical trial of multisystemic therapy with juvenile sex offenders.
  • Cost-benefit analysis of multisystemic therapy with juvenile sexual offenders.
  • Development and validation of a measure of adolescent peer relations: The Missouri Peer Relations Inventory.
  • Long-term effects of multisystemic therapy on siblings of serious and violent juvenile offenders at midlife.
  • Relational aggression in families of female serious juvenile offenders.
  • Cost-benefit analysis of multisystemic therapy with serious and violent juvenile offenders.
  • Parental support systems in families with serious juvenile offenders.
  • The ecology of toddler maltreatment: A multilevel examination of toddler physical abuse and neglect.
  • Environmental influences on maternal supervision strategies with toddlers.
  • Criminal trajectories of adolescent and young adult sexual offenders.