Family and Multifamily Intervention With Adolescents With Behavior Changes: A Proposal of an Intervention Program, Based on a Pilot Study

Ivone Patrão, Joana Santos Rita


Aim: In adolescence, behaviour problems and the difficulties of managing them by parents and teachers emerge as two of the most frequent referral reasons to primary health care (PHC) and mental health services. Adopting a systemic perspective, we intend to present a program of family and multifamily intervention, with families and adolescents (who present behaviour problems which do not fulfil diagnostic criteria for behaviour disorder or oppositional defiant disorder), based on the results of a pilot intervention carried out in PHC. Method: This is a retrospective study that resorted to documental records analysis procedures of two types of intervention: a group of adolescents (N = 8) aged between 13 and 16 years old (M = 14.5, SD = 0.93) and a group of their parents (N = 16) (mother: M = 45.6, SD = 6.97; father: M = 47.9, SD = 6.83). Results: The interventions with adolescents and families, in combination, have shown therapeutic gains in the whole sample (100%), particularly in terms of decreasing behaviour problems at home and at school, cessation of pharmacological therapy and academic achievement. Conclusion: The program of family and multifamily intervention appears itself as an effective helping approach, matching therapeutic results and profitability of resources.


multifamily intervention; adolescents; behaviour problems