Pretreatment characteristics of adolescent substance abusers: Predicting treatment dropout

Jerry D Armour, Tennessee State University


This study investigated the relationship between several pretreatment variables and two treatment outcomes for patients admitted to the Elam Mental Health Center of Meharry Medical College's Adolescent Substance Abuse Unit, a state-funded residential rehabilitation treatment unit for adolescents, located in Nashville, Tennessee, between January 1990 and April 1992. Among the pretreatment variables were: gender, ethnicity, age, referral source, criminal involvement, presence of psychiatric diagnosis, and number of times previously in treatment. Treatment outcomes were limited to those adolescents who either completed the program (completers) or those designated as "absent without leave" (dropouts). Data was collected from information obtained during the subjects' pre-admission interviews, as recorded on their "Intake Information Forms." Results indicated that the following pretreatment variables were significantly and independently related to treatment dropout: number of prior substance abuse treatments, first time admission status, family history of substance abuse, and presence of family, environmental, or social skills issues.

Subject Area

Rehabilitation|Therapy|Developmental psychology|Social psychology|Mental health

Recommended Citation

Jerry D Armour, "Pretreatment characteristics of adolescent substance abusers: Predicting treatment dropout" (1999). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI1396145.