Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Human Development and Family Studies

First Advisor

Jacques Lempers


Adolescent substance abuse remains a major public health concern. The comprehensive, detrimental effects of teenage drug use, coupled with troubling relapse rates, highlight the need for innovative, effective, and helpful treatment interventions. Adolescents in treatment and the adults that work with them are subject to often negatively influential societal discourses that limit treatment effectiveness as well as the development of adolescent treatment satisfaction and therapeutic alliance. Narrative therapy is promoted in theoretical and clinical literature as a viable way of addressing these problems.;Preliminary work has been done in the area of narrative therapy with adolescents, and particularly with substance abusing and chemically dependent adolescents. However, empirical and qualitative research regarding narrative therapy with teens is scarce. Studies examining narrative therapy in regard to the promotion of treatment satisfaction and therapeutic alliance are virtually non-existent. This study presents preliminary empirical and phenomenological research that indicates a positive adolescent response to narrative therapy. These responses involve the development of greater, subjective understanding of and increased resistance to substance abuse and behavioral problems. Finally, the information presented in this study points to the development of a potentially useful group treatment model of narrative therapy with adolescents having substance abuse and other behavior or emotional problems.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

David Charles Kaptain



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

189 pages