TIMOTHY J.OZECHOWSKI, PhD
CHARLES W.TURNER, PhD
HOLLY B.WALDRON, PhD
Oregon Research Institute
During the early and mid-1990s, the field of family therapy faced criticism for its inattention to the scientific study of its theories and methods (e.g., Henggeler, Borduin, & Mann, 1993). In fact, the field's empirical values were called into question, and fears arose that family therapy would marginalize itself among psychotherapy professions thereby jeopardizing its very survival (Liddle, 1991; Shields, Wynne, McDaniel, & Gawinski, 1994). Amid a climate of increasing accountability and quality assurance requirements, family therapy faced the challenge of aligning itself more closely with developmental trends and scientific standards emerging within mainstream mental health disciplines (e.g., Kazdin, 1994).
A decade or so later, the empirical founda tion of family therapy has been greatly solidified (see Alexander, Sexton, & Robbins, 2002; Sexton & Alexander, 2002). Arguably, in no area is family therapy's maturation as a scientific discipline and a clinical specialty more pronounced than in the treatment of adolescent conduct disorder and drug abuse. The breadth and depth of science-based treatment research in this area is unprecedented in the family therapy field. Formal experimental studies in this area date back to the 1970s (e.g., Alexander & Parsons, 1973; Patterson & Reid, 1973) and were among the first controlled trials ever conducted in family therapy. By the early 1990s, an actual base of scientific knowledge had accumulated and was articulated in a landmark issue of the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy (JMFT) (Pinsof & Wynne, 1995). The empirical reviews of family therapy for conduct disorder (Chamberlain & Rosicky, 1995) and drug abuse (Liddle &