Factors Associated With Dropout in an Outpatient Substance Abuse Treatment Program in Baltimore County, Maryland

Timothy W. Kinlock, Friends Research Institute, Inc.
Robert J. Battjes, Friends Research Institute, Inc.
Michael S. Gordon, Friends Research Institute, Inc.

This paper presents preliminary findings on the factors related to unsuccessful discharge from adolescent substance abuse treatment programs in Baltimore County, Maryland. These factors include internal motivation for treatment, perceived external pressure to enter treatment, and precocity for deviant behavior. Gender and ethnicity are also examined. Although much is known about the variables associated with dropout in adult substance abuse treatment, research findings regarding the importance of specific facts in predicting adolescent treatment dropout are generally inconclusive. More specifically, while motivation has frequently been used to examine outcome of adult substance abuse treatment, it has been rarely explored in youth attending such programs. The extent to which interventions to increase internal motivation for treatment can enhance treatment outcome, and for various types of adolescents, is also largely unknown. These questions will be addressed in future analyses on this sample.

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Updated 05/20/2006