The Cannabis Youth Treatment (CYT) experiment: Rationale, study design and analysis plans

Michael Dennis, Janet C. Titus, Guy Diamond, Jean Donaldson, Susan H. Godley, Frank M. Tims, Charles Webb, Yifrah Kaminer, Thomas Babor, M. C. Roebuck, Mark D. Godley, Nancy Hamilton, Howard Liddle, Christy K. Scott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

230 Scopus citations


Aims: This paper provides a description of the rationale, study design, treatments and assessment procedures used in the Cannabis Youth Treatment (CYT) experiment. Design: CYT was designed to (a) test the relative effectiveness, cost and benefit-cost of five promising treatment interventions under field conditions and (b) provide evidence based manual-guided models of these interventions to the treatment field. Setting: The study involved two community-based treatment programs and two major medical centers. Participants: Participants were 600 adolescents recruited from the regular intake who were between the ages of 12 and 18, had used marijuana in the past 90 days, and met one or more criteria of dependence or abuse. Interventions: Participants were randomly assigned to one of five interventions: Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Family Support Network (FSN), Adolescent Community Reinforcement Approach (ACRA), or Multidimensional Family Therapy (MDFT). Measurements: Self-report data were collected at intake, 3, 6, 9 and 12 months post discharge using the Global Appraisal of Individual Needs (GAIN), as well as several supplemental self-reports, collateral reports, urine testing, and service logs. Findings: This paper reports on the study's implementation including the psychometric properties of the measures (alphas over 0.8), validity of self-report (kappa over 0.6), high rates of treatment completion (81% completed two or more months), and high rates of follow-up (over 94% per wave). Conclusions: The feasibility of implementing the CYT manual-guided treatment and quality assurance model in community-based adolescent treatment programs is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)16-34
Number of pages19
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2002


  • Adolescents
  • Cannabis
  • Manual-guided therapy
  • Marijuana
  • Quality assurance
  • Substance abuse treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


Dive into the research topics of 'The Cannabis Youth Treatment (CYT) experiment: Rationale, study design and analysis plans'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this