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Common Treatment Elements for Adolescents with Antisocial Behaviors: A Closer Examination of Functional Family Therapy (PhD project)

This project focuses on how treatment elements address adolescent antisocial behaviors, providing insight into which elements are essential to treatment.

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Which treatment elements are most effective for adolescents with severe behavioral problem behaviors? (Photo: 30daysreplay Germany, Unsplash)

About the project

The primary aim of this doctorate is to investigate how Functional Family Therapy (FFT)
elements affect serious antisocial youth behaviors, particularly Callous Unemotional (CU)
traits. Common elements are approach-specific, model-free, “active ingredients” used in
evidence-based treatments to treat specific clinical disorders. Uncovering common elements is a blossoming research discipline that shows great promise as their extraction promotes program optimization and enhances an intervention’s efficiency, feasibility, appropriateness, acceptability, and usability, without compromising effectiveness.


  1. Identify common CU trait elements to determine which are most and least affiliated with positive adolescent CU trait effects.
  2. Determine whether CU trait elements are present during FFT sessions.
  3. Compare outcomes of adolescent FFT “non-responders” with and without CU traits.


Data were collected from a larger study that took place between 2014 – 2018 with youth and their families receiving FFT. The PhD project incorporates a systematic review, a common elements exploration, and a time-series design to investigate how CU elements impact what works for whom for adolescents with serious antisocial behaviors. Results will be available in 2025.


This project is a part of a larger project that was financed by The Norwegian Center for Child Behavioral Development (NUBU).


The Norwegian Center for Child Behavioral Development (NUBU)

Regional Center of Child and Adolescent Mental Health, Eastern and Southern Norway (RBUP)

Published June 29, 2021 1:41 PM - Last modified June 30, 2021 11:03 AM