top of page

New Study: Implementing ABFT in LGBTQ+ Services

Russon and colleagues (2021) investigated the use of ABFT in the LGBTQ+ population. A small sample of participants were enrolled in 16-weeks of ABFT to determine the feasibility and acceptability of ABFT in this community.

Title: Implementing attachment-based family therapy for depressed and suicidal adolescents and young adults in LGBTQ+ services: Feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary effectiveness.

Authors: Jody Russon, Judy Morrissey, Jamie Dellinger, Bora Jin, and Guy Diamond.


Background: Suicide is a serious public health problem for LGBTQ+ adolescents and young adults. Attachment-based family therapy (ABFT) is one of the few suicide treatment models that has been tested with this population. The challenge remains in how to implement ABFT into the ecology of LGBTQ+ service settings.

Aims: In this study, we tested the feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary effectiveness of ABFT in LGBTQ + community settings.

Method: Ten participants were enrolled in 16 weeks of ABFT across three LGBTQ + organizations. Feasibility (treatment completion) and acceptability (Working Alliance Inventory [WAI]; opinions about treatment [OAT]) were measured for youth and caregivers. Depression and suicide outcomes were assessed for nine participants.

Results: ABFT was demonstrated to be both feasible and acceptable. All participants completed treatment, and there were no dropouts. Adolescents/young adults and their caregivers reported high WAI and adequate OAT scores throughout treatment. There was a significant decrease in suicidal ideation (β = −12.16, t(10) = −3.14, p < .01). Decreases in depression, however, were not significant (β = −1.83, t(9.11) = −0.88, p = .40).

Limitations: The small sample limits our ability to estimate treatment effectiveness. A larger effectiveness trial is warranted.

Conclusion: ABFT is a promising treatment for LGBTQ + service settings.

Link to the journal can be found here.

17 views0 comments


bottom of page