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Plenary Session

Multisystemic Therapy: Long-Term Success with Challenging Adolescent Populations

Lead by Dr. Phillippe Cunningham

Research findings regarding the causes of problem behavior in children and adolescents indicate that such problems are multi-determined by factors in the youth’s social ecology (e.g., family, peers, school, neighborhoods, community). Treatments of problem behavior that fail to address the multiple determinants of such problems have low ecological validity and are, consequently, doomed to failure. Dr. Cunningham will examine the empirically determining causes and correlates of problem behavior and describe Multisystemic Therapy ® (MST ® ), an intensive family- and community-based treatment approach that intervenes directly into the key social systems in which youth are embedded (i.e., family, peers, school, community), directly targeting these causative factors.

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Dr. Phillippe Cunningham

Phillippe B. Cunningham, Ph.D., is a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Medical University of South Carolina. Dr. Cunningham collaborated with the developer of Multisystemic Therapy (MST), Dr. Scott Henggeler, for over two decades, in the further development and dissemination of MST, and spearheaded the adaptation and integration of Contingency Management (CM) interventions into MST, and has led efforts to adapt MST for use with youth with chronic medical conditions. Dr. Cunningham was directly involved in the dissemination of CM within the MST provider network and is the co-owner of Evidence Based Services, an MST Network partner organization.

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