JJMISCOPE: Computer-Assisted Brief Intervention

Brown University (Other)
Overall Status
CT.gov ID

Study Details

Study Description

Brief Summary

Due to the "unmet needs" of substance abuse treatment among court involved but non-incarcerated (CINI) adolescents and their parents, reaching and engaging CINI adolescents in intervention programs addressing marijuana use is important given the significant risk that continued substance use poses for re-arrest and detention. This study will examine the feasibility of implementing one potential model for increasing access to substance use interventions in a juvenile justice setting by using: 1) a computer- assisted intervention addressing marijuana use for adolescents, and 2) a computer program on strategies to improve management of teens who misuse drugs for parents.

Condition or Disease Intervention/Treatment Phase
  • Behavioral: Computer Counseling
  • Behavioral: Standard Care

Detailed Description

Four out of five youth in the juvenile justice system show evidence of being under the influence during their offenses, and over half test positive for substances at the time of their arrest. Further, 92% of arrested juveniles who tested positive for drugs tested positive for marijuana. Although some treatment programs for juvenile offenders exist, most have focused on detained and incarcerated juveniles, who only represent one third of arrested youth. As a result, little is known about how to improve the continuum of care for the remaining two-thirds of this population, which consists of court involved but non-incarcerated youth (CINI). Court recommendations and referrals for CINI have mostly relied on outside community-based services, thus decreasing the likelihood CINI youth and their families will take the additional steps to seek intervention. Given that motivational interventions (MI) are brief, relatively easy to implement and have a greater reach than typical substance use treatment programs, researchers have recently directed their focus to interactive, computer-delivered MI protocols to further increase their reach as well as facilitate their implementation. Online interventions can be delivered at a lower cost, with less demand on staff time for training, and increased protocol fidelity, portability, and ease of use. While counselor-delivered MIs for adolescent substance use have been tested fairly widely, only a few studies have been published on the efficacy of computer-assisted MIs. Further, little research has focused on the efficacy of such interventions with marijuana using adolescents in general, and more specifically with CINI adolescents. In addition, combining such interventions for adolescents with brief parenting interventions is important but yet rarely implemented. Therefore, this application proposes to examine the feasibility and acceptability of integrating a computer-assisted,, brief intervention protocol into the juvenile intake procedures at the Rhode Island Family Court (RIFC) for marijuana using adolescents and their parents. Following an open trial of the brief protocol, , 80 adolescents who screen positive for marijuana use at juvenile intake will be recruited from the RIFC and randomly assigned to one of two conditions: 1) a computer-assisted adolescent MI plus an online parenting program ; or 2) usual care. Outcomes will be examined at 3 and 6-month follow-ups. This small trial will provide some initial evidence regarding utility of this protocol with CINI youth and whether a larger, fully powered trial is indicated in the future.

Study Design

Study Type:
Anticipated Enrollment :
90 participants
Intervention Model:
Parallel Assignment
Intervention Model Description:
a computer-assisted adolescent motivational interview plus an online parenting program for substance abuse will be compared to usual care.a computer-assisted adolescent motivational interview plus an online parenting program for substance abuse will be compared to usual care.
Single (Outcomes Assessor)
Masking Description:
Blind to treatment condition to which subject is assigned
Primary Purpose:
Official Title:
Computer-Assisted Brief Intervention Protocol for Marijuana Using Juvenile Offenders
Actual Study Start Date :
Oct 1, 2017
Anticipated Primary Completion Date :
Dec 30, 2022
Anticipated Study Completion Date :
Dec 30, 2022

Arms and Interventions

Arm Intervention/Treatment
Experimental: Computer counseling

a computer-assisted adolescent motivational intervention called e-toke plus an online parenting program - Parenting Wisely

Behavioral: Computer Counseling
two computer counseling online programs for a teen and a parent

Active Comparator: Standard care

Standard care is typically referral to counseling for substance use

Behavioral: Standard Care
A referral for substance use counseling

Outcome Measures

Primary Outcome Measures

  1. Time Line Follow Back Interview (TLFB) [90 days]

    The Timeline Follow-back Interview is a widely used research tool with good reliability and validity for various groups of individuals. Marijuana and alcohol consumption information is collected using a calendar format with temporal cues (e.g., holidays) to assist in recall of days when marijuana and alcohol were used. Data from the TLFB will be summarized to yield the total number of marijuana and alcohol use days.

Secondary Outcome Measures

  1. Marijuana and alcohol problems [90 days]

    Marijuana and alcohol use problems will be assessed using items from the Add Health longitudinal study on symptoms of abuse and dependence including problems at school, home; physical fights; and physical symptoms such as vomiting and "hang over."

Eligibility Criteria


Ages Eligible for Study:
14 Years to 17 Years
Sexes Eligible for Study:
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:
Inclusion Criteria:
  • teen age 14 to 17, inclusive, living at home with at least one parent/guardian

  • teen report of history of marijuana use and a positive brief screen during intake procedures * parental consent/ child assent; and, 4) one parent willing to participate in intervention

Exclusion Criteria:
  • developmental delay

  • teen or parents are not able to adequately speak and understand English or Spanish.

Contacts and Locations


Site City State Country Postal Code
1 Rhode Island Family Court Providence Rhode Island United States 02903

Sponsors and Collaborators

  • Brown University


  • Principal Investigator: Anthony Spirito, PhD, Brown University

Study Documents (Full-Text)

More Information


None provided.
Responsible Party:
Anthony Spirito, Professor, Brown University
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier:
Other Study ID Numbers:
  • DA042247
First Posted:
Apr 11, 2017
Last Update Posted:
Mar 3, 2022
Last Verified:
Mar 1, 2022
Individual Participant Data (IPD) Sharing Statement:
Plan to Share IPD:
Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Drug Product:
Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Device Product:
Additional relevant MeSH terms:

Study Results

No Results Posted as of Mar 3, 2022