Title: A Theoretical Update and Empirical Analysis of the Multiple Family Group Intervention
Type of DegreePhD Dissertation
Human Development and Family Science
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The Multiple Family Group Intervention (MFGI) is a family therapy intervention within a larger treatment program (the Accountability Based Sex Offense Prevention (ABSOP) Program) for the treatment of illegal sexual behavior (ISB) in adolescents. The primary purpose of the MFGI is to improve patterns of interaction for adolescents adjudicated for ISB and their caregivers, supporting the larger treatment program (e.g., disclosure of ISB, safety planning, and trauma treatment) and decreasing recidivism. In her 2002 article, Dr. Margaret Keiley described the theoretical foundation for the Multiple Family Group Intervention (MFGI), outlining the literature on attachment and emotion theory up to that point in time and the intervention protocol. Although there is still a notable lack of inclusion of family therapy within the justice system, the past twenty years has seen a significant amount of growth in our understanding of emotion and the interplay between the relationships between caregivers and children, emotion, and behavior. Paper 1 of this dissertation provides an updated review of the literature supporting the intervention’s theoretical foundation, connects this research to the structure and content of the intervention, and describes the intervention protocol as currently provided within a treatment program for adolescents adjudicated for sexual offending in the state of Alabama. Paper 2 is the first investigation of the MFGI in the context of the larger ABSOP treatment program and a preliminary investigation of the mechanisms of change within the MFGI. It is our hope that this project will support the future presence and growth of the MFGI.