Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Committee Member

Brad Donohue

Number of Pages



The literature investigating adolescent substance abuse has identified both social skills deficits and parental conflict as variables which both predict and maintain substance abuse. Supported by these findings, the present study evaluates the efficacy of utilizing cognitive problem solving skills training with adolescent substance abusers and their primary care giver (Youth-Parent Cognitive Problem Solving Training - YPCPS). This treatment condition is an alteration of Individual Cognitive Problem Solving Training (ICPS, Azrin, Donohue, Teichner, Cram, Howell, and DeCato, 2000) which was developed as a treatment modality for individual adolescent substance abusers. The interventions instructed participants, through a brief 5 point strategy, how to objectively and systematically address problems and make decisions that maximize potential positive outcomes while minimizing negative consequences. This study compared the efficacy of these two formats by treating two parent-youth dyads in a multiple baseline design. YPCPS was associated with improvements in externalizing problem areas (i.e., substance abuse, delinquency), Parent-Youth relationship satisfaction and observed dyad communication. ICPS was is associated with enhanced social problem skills, improved internalized states, increased relationship satisfaction and dyad communication improvements, and an increase in externalized problems. These differences may be due to subject heterogeneity (i.e., socio-economic, gender, ethnicity) and time-effects (i.e., probation status) which made conclusion regarding treatment efficacy largely untenable.


Abuse; Adolescent; Efficacy; Examination; Pilot; Problem; Results; Skills; Solving; Study; Substance; Training

Controlled Subject

Clinical psychology

File Format


File Size

2181.12 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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