Multisystemic Therapy for youth with problem sexual behaviors (MST-PSB) targets chronic and violent juvenile offenders who engage in criminal sexual behavior such as
As with standard MST, MST-PSB therapists only handle a few cases at a time and see the offender and family in their home setting. During the treatment, they
MST-PSB has been shown effective in three randomized clinical trials.
The first, a small 1990 study compared long-term effects of MST-PSB versus the offender receiving treatment from an individual therapist. In a three-year follow-up the study found that only 12.5 percent of the youths in the MST-PSB program committed sexual offenses again. In contrast, 75 percent of the adolescents treated by a therapist reoffended.
In a later study, an 8-year follow-up compared how many offenders who participated in MST-PSB committed sexual crimes again against offenders who took part in usual community services such as clinics. The results from this study demonstrated the effectiveness of MST-PSB over the traditional community-service approach.
The most recent trial, a large scale effectiveness study assessing multiple domains of functioning through twelve months post recruitment, was published in 2009.
In addition, the cost of MST-PSB was one-fifth of usual community services.
MST-PSB is listed on SAMHSA's National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP), which reviews and rates mental-health and substance-abuse interventions.