Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)




David M. Stein


Juvenile drug courts are becoming an increasingly popular answer to rising rates of substance use-related crime among adolescents in the U.S. However, outcome evidence for the efficacy of juvenile drug courts is limited at this time. Currently, approximately 50% of juvenile drug court participants do not graduate from drug court programs nationwide. However, the nongraduates are believed to have a poor prognosis following termination from drug court. The purpose of this study was to determine if participant characteristics are related to outcome in juvenile drug courts. Neither demographic variables (age, ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status) nor substance use variables (age at first use, drug of choice, previous treatment, frequency of use) were significantly related to outcome (graduation status) in this sample. However, several scales on the SASSI-A2, a measure of adolescent substance use, provided a significant predication model for graduation from juvenile drug courts. This finding suggests that adolescents who meet diagnostic criteria for substance use disorders, have profiles similar to other adjudicated youth, and who are consciously aware of both the symptoms and negative consequences of their substance use behavior, are more likely to benefit from juvenile drug court programs.



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