J Consult Clin Psychol 2005 Oct;73(5):808-18
Family Services Research Center, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC 29425, USA.
The effects of caregiver-therapist ethnic similarity on youth outcomes from multisystemic therapy (MST), as implemented in dissemination sites, were examined. Consistent with hypotheses, findings confirmed that youths whose caregivers were ethnically matched with their therapists demonstrated greater decreases in symptoms, longer times in treatment, and increased likelihood of discharge for meeting treatment goals relative to youths whose caregivers and therapists were not ethnically matched. In addition, for youths whose caregivers were of mixed ethnic heritage, caregiver-therapist ethnic match was associated with greater improvements in psychosocial functioning. Ethnic match effects on both treatment length and discharge success were partially mediated by therapist adherence to MST. This study shows the importance of examining the effects of both client and therapist ethnicity on outcomes from empirically based treatments.