The transportability of multisystemic therapy to Sweden: Short-term results from a randomized trial of conduct-disordered youths

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This randomized clinical trial assessed the effectiveness of multisystemic therapy (MST) for 156 youths who met the diagnostic criteria for conduct disorder. Sweden's 3 largest cities and I small town served as the recruiting area for the study. A mixed factorial design was used, with random allocation between MST and treatment as usual groups. Assessments were conducted at intake and 7 months after referral. With an intention-to-treat approach, results from multiagent and multimethod assessment batteries showed a general decrease in psychiatric problems and antisocial behaviors among participants across treatments. There significant differences in treatment effects between the 2 groups. The lack of treatment effect did not appear to be caused by site differences or variations in program maturity. MST treatment fidelity was lower than that of other studies, although not clearly related to treatment outcomes in this study. The results are discussed in terms of differences between Sweden and the United States. One difference is the way in which young offenders are processed (a child welfare approach vs. a juvenile justice system approach). Sociodemographic differences (e.g., rates of poverty, crime, and substance abuse) between the 2 countries may also have moderating effects on the rates of rehabilitation among young offenders.


  • Knut Sundell
  • Cecilia Andree Lofholm
  • Lars-Henry Gustle
  • Kjell Hansson
  • Tina Olsson
  • Christina Kadesjoe
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Social Work


  • behavior, child, randomized trial, multisystemic therapy, conduct disorder, checklist, cultural context
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)550-560
JournalJournal of Family Psychology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Publication categoryResearch