Aoraki Maunga/Mount Cook

Conduct Problems: Effective Programmes for Adolescents by the Advisory Group on Conduct Problems

This report was prepared by the Advisory Group on Conduct Problems (AGCP) on the prevention, treatment and management of conduct problems in adolescence.

The AGCP was established to provide advice to the Ministries of Social Development, Education and Health on improving the delivery of behavioural services in New Zealand.

This is the fourth report completed by this group, following the publication of the Conduct Problems: Best Practice report, Conduct Problems: Effective Services for 3-7 Year Olds report, and Effective Services for 8-12 Year Olds report.

This report has a strong focus on making behavioural services more culturally responsive for Māori, and looks at how both ‘western science’ and ‘matauranga Māori’ knowledge sit beside each other in understanding and measuring successes of behavioural interventions.

This report will be of interest to policy makers and practitioners.

In particular the report:

  • provides the latest international research on what are effective behavioural programmes for Adolescents.
  • builds on the 3 previous published reports (on-line) by the AGCP (Best Practice, Effective Programmes for 3-7 Year Olds and Effective Programmes for 8-12 Year Olds reports)
  • outlines key actions to ensure promising programmes and practices will work within different New Zealand settings (particularly for Māori), including research, monitoring, cultural and clinical competency and evaluation
  • outlines a portfolio of behavioural programmes that could be introduced in New Zealand to support parts of the Youth Crime Action Plan and the Children’s Action Plan
  • provides a common approach for both the health and education sectors and Child, Youth and Family in defining, treating and managing older children with conduct problems
  • prioritises the need to deliver behavioural services and support families early
  • elaborates how kaupapa Māori principles, programmes and evaluation fit within the mix of service delivery and expansion of behavioural programmes to achieve whānau ora.

Caveat statement

With regard to Chapter 5, the Ministry of Social Development wishes to comment on the current wording in the Adolescent Report that presents the use of the Family Group Conference (FGC) as a practice that addresses conduct problems.

The FGC is a statutory process for making decisions concerning children and young people. It is a participative approach to child protection and youth offending and involves the child / young person, their parents, members of their extended family/ whānau and professionals coming together to develop solutions to specific situations.

The FGC should be seen as a process that enables decision-making on subsequent approaches to respond to the broader needs of a child or young person (including conduct problems).

It is these subsequent approaches that need to be evaluated to measure their effectiveness in changing the behaviour of young people.

Furthermore, the report does not acknowledge that Child, Youth and Family have recently partnered with the University of Canterbury to evaluate FGC practices and outcomes.

The evaluation objectives are to (a) identify the effectiveness of the FGC process for facilitating positive outcomes for children and young people and their whānau, (b) to identify best practice for implementing FGCs, including culturally appropriate practices and (c) further develop the theoretical underpinnings of how the FGC process effects change for children and young people and their whānau.

The University of Canterbury has completed a scoping phase which provides the foundation for the next phase of the evaluation.

Aoraki Maunga/Mount Cook


This report is available for download in PDF format:

Conduct Problems: Effective Programmes for Adolescents by the Advisory Group on Conduct Problems

Nov 2013

Print this page.