Twelve-Step attendance trajectories over 7 years among adolescents

Hmmm. Doesn't look too young to me.

More evidence for the benefits of 12 step facilitation for adolescents:

Results of multivariate logistic GEE models indicated that adolescents with continued 12-Step attendance had better outcomes over time, whereas those in the early but not continued group had no different long-term outcomes compared to those in the low/no attendance group.

A problem, of course, is relatively low participation rates:

The majority (60%) had no or low attendance throughout 7 years. About one-fourth had high probability of attendance in the first year post-treatment entry but discontinued afterwards. Fewer than 15% continued 12-Step attendance throughout the 7 years


Among adolescents with substance use disorders, overall 12-Step attendance was low post-treatment, but robust connection with 12-Step groups was associated with better long-term outcomes. Findings highlight the importance of 12-Step attendance in supporting long-term recovery among adolescents, and suggest that strategies are needed to facilitate 12-Step attendance. Additional research is needed on how the frequency, intensity and duration of 12-Step meeting attendance, as well as the type of activity, is associated with beneficial effects, and whether the relationships vary for different subgroups. Policies to address specific adolescent subgroups, based on severity, age or other characteristics could then be developed for targeting 12-Step facilitation efforts.

6 thoughts on “Twelve-Step attendance trajectories over 7 years among adolescents

  1. Good informative post…12-step is necessary, but adolescents will not continue in 12-step if the average age is 30+…they need peers to relate to…adolescent community-based 12-step programs are needed.

    1. Agreed. If the young tribe within the recovery community is weak or non-existent, you’re doomed. Also the quality of the linkage is critical. Is it an active linkage (“Let’s get you to a good meeting with a lot of young people and I’ll connect you with a sponsor and some members who can be of good support.”) or is it a passive linkage (“Go to an AA meeting. Here’s a meeting list.”)?

  2. There’s a great meeting in our area on Wednesday nights called “The Young and the Restless.” It’s not just for adolescents, but it’s a more appropriate meeting for young people.

  3. We have a very active Young People in AA group in our home town. Many of the members are not even of legal drinking age. Most are 18 to 30ish. They organize dances, BBQs, recovery-based camp-outs and much more. It is fantastic to see and so important for them to have a connection to other young people in recovery. My first sponsee was just 16 years old. Today she is a thriving, beautiful 22-year-old who is still very active in 12 step recovery.

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