MST vs Boot Camp for Juvenile Treatment

In multisystemic therapy, the adolescent substance abuser is observed as entrenched within the background of manifold interrelated systems. Systems that both have an effect on and are affected by delinquent behavior comprising the child’s own intrapersonal system that is cognitive ability and social skills, the parent-child system, the parental system, peers, the school system, and the neighborhood system.

The therapy broadens beyond family therapy in that the recursive progressions of family interface that maintain a fastidious difficulty are often viewed as part of a longer, more multifaceted chain of interactions among participants within and outside the family that carry on problem behaviors. In addition to systems theories, multisystemic therapy illustrates on a number of other models. Multisystemic therapy allocates with family preservation the innermost endeavor of retaining young people in the home, rather than institutionalizing or incarcerating them.

Along with this objective, enhancing generalization is key; consequently, therapy is usually provided in the home or a society setting. (Sexton, 2003) Moreover comparable to family preservation, multisystemic therapy unite therapy modalities and sites in an individualized model to take into account the individual’s strengths and limitations. In contradiction of family preservation, multisystemic therapy, on the other hand, is hypothetically based and methodically applied.

At the same time as multisystemic therapy comprises family systems interferences (structural and strategic family therapy), it also centers on non-systemic involvements, particularly, those stemming from cognitive-behavioral therapy, like parent training, social skills training, difficulty solving, and multi-component behavior therapy. Interventions are delivered in a joint way. Other characteristics of multisystemic therapy comprise a center on precise behavioral goals, such as following curfew, completing chores, and separating from disruptive peers. Objectives should be sensible and time-limited.

In addition addressing needs and problems, assessment also orients individuals and families toward their strengths. With increasing number of juveniles getting out of control, parents are influenced to conclude that boot camps might be the response in turning their adolescent substance abusers around. Adolescent substance abuse is a most important urban quandary at the moment. These adolescents have no reverence for the law and do not apprehension anyone or anything. Boot camps are used for the fact of alarming increase in incidences of adolescent substance abuse.

The assignment of boot camp is to modify individual substance abuse beliefs and behavior by accentuating individual responsibility, showing penalties for actions, providing education, giving role representations and offering other options. (Motherwell, 2005) Juvenile boot camps are correctional programs for adolescent substance abusers in a military style atmosphere. These programs pressurize restraint and physical conditioning and were developed as a substitute for incarceration in juvenile correctional facilities.

They have a prearranged 16-hour day starting at 5:45 a. m. and ending at 9:45 p. m. The duration of days varies from 40 to 400 days. (Hoover, 2004) Juvenile boot camps have detailed goals, definite admission criteria, and process of adolescent substance abuser residency, are cost efficient, aftercare is very significant and reduce the recidivism rate. There are five ruling goals in the juvenile boot camps. The first is deterrence, which is to depress or prevent adolescent substance abuse.

The second is incapacitation, which is to be lawfully incompetent or disqualified. The third goal, which is the most vital one, is rehabilitation. This is to reinstate an individual. Those working in the rectification capacity look to decrease the adolescent substance abuser’s manners by changing one’s feelings. The fourth goal is penalty, any fine, or incarceration inflicted upon a person for substance abusing. The last but not the least goal is cost control. This is central in managing the operating cost low. (Bean, 2004)

When we study the examples of few adolescent substance abusers, we got to know that both multisystemic therapy and juvenile boot camps have been used in past to recover these juveniles. The juveniles who are at the initial stage of the problem are mostly prescribed for multisystemic therapy while the juveniles at higher stages of the problem are initially asked to go to boot camps. With some improvements are asked to use multisystemic therapy. It is concluded that both the approaches are very effective depending on the intensity of the problem.


Bean, P. & Nemitz, T. (Eds. ). (2004). Drug Treatment: What Works?. New York: Rutledge. Hoover, J. H. , & Ries, M. V. (2004). Troubled Children and Youth. Reclaiming Children and Youth, 13(2), 118+. Motherwell, L. & Shay, J. J. (Eds. ). (2005). Complex Dilemmas in Group Therapy: Pathways to Resolution. New York: Rutledge. Sexton, T. L. , Weeks, G. R. , & Robbins, M. S. (Eds. ). (2003). Handbook of Family Therapy: The Science and Practice of Working with Families and Couples. New York: Brunner-Rutledge.

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