Childhood exposure to interpersonal trauma (ITE; sexual abuse, physical abuse, witnessing violence) confers a sevenfold risk for HIV infection and a ten-fold risk for lifetime substance use disorder. Recent national survey research conducted by the PI?s team demonstrates that clinicians who work with ITE youth report: a) being highly concerned with the sexual risk behaviors and vulnerability to early onset of substance use they observe in this population; b) having strong interest in training regarding specific methods to address these challenging topics with teens; and c) feeling ill-equipped to address these issues in session with existing trauma-focused treatment. This project aims to improve the delivery of best practices for teens and their families who seek mental health care by developing creative, technology-based resources for providers to enhance the care they already are providing.
The study will involve a randomized controlled trial (RCT) with subjects ages 13-18 years (who have experienced sexual assault) randomized to receive Risk Reduction through Family Therapy (RRFT) or Treatment As Usual. Youth will be recruited from 2 local child advocacy centers and the interventions are psychosocial in nature. Follow-up assessments will be conducted at multiple time points through 18-month post entry.