Extending contingency management to the treatment of homeless youth

Date of Award


Degree Name

M.A. in Clinical Psychology


Department of Psychology


Advisor: Ronald M. Katsuyama


This study used a quasi-experimental method to examine the efficacy of a contingency management (CM) program upon the promotion of independent living among homeless youth enrolled in a transitional living program. Outcome data was collected from clients (N = 37) upon entry and exit from the transitional living program offered through a Midwestern youth homeless shelter. Those outcomes assessed included clinicians' ratings of their clients' Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF), and clients' scores on both the Quality of Life (QL) and Decision-Making/Empowerment (MD/E) subscales, as measured by the Ohio Mental Health Consumer Outcomes System (Ohio Department of Mental Health, 2009). Comparisons of changes in outcome measures between (1) those who were exposed to the CM program who also graduated from the transitional living program (CM-C); (2) those exposed to the CM program who did not graduate from the transitional living program (CM-Inc.); and (3) those who were never exposed to the CM program and did not graduate from the transitional living program (NCM - Inc.) revealed significant interactions for clinicians' GAF ratings and clients' MD/E scores. These results indicate that programs for homeless youth based on the principals of CM may promote this successful transition into independent living. However, the study's use of a quasi-experimental design prevents causal inference.


Homeless youth Life skills assessment, Life skills Study and teaching Evaluation, Shelters for the homeless, Clinical psychology; contingency management; homeless youth; program evaluation; transitional living

Rights Statement

Copyright © 2013, author