Multidimensional Treatment Foster Care for Girls in the Juvenile Justice System: 2 Year Follow-up of a Randomized Trial
This study is a 2-year follow-up of girls with serious and chronic delinquency who were enrolled in a randomized clinical trial conducted from 1997 to 2002 comparing multidimensional treatment foster care (MTFC) and group care (N = 81). Girls were referred by juvenile court judges and had an average of over 11 criminal referrals when they entered the study. A latent variable analysis of covariance model controlling for initial status demonstrated maintenance of effects for MTFC in preventing delinquency at the 2-year assessment, as measured by days in locked settings, number of criminal referrals, and self-reported delinquency. A latent variable growth model focusing on variance in individual trajectories across the course of the study also demonstrated the efficacy of MTFC. Older girls exhibited less delinquency over time relative to younger girls in both conditions. Implications for gender-sensitive programming for youths referred from juvenile justice are discussed.