Evidence-based practice and the culture of adolescence

Timothy D. Nelson, Jennifer Mize Nelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Evidence-based practice requires attention to the client context, including client culture. We propose that the developmental period of adolescence is characterized by a unique culture that has important implications for evidence-based practice. Specifically, this paper explores three features of adolescent culture (importance of technology, centrality of peers, and the ongoing challenge of identity formation and individuation) that may be especially salient when treating adolescents. We then provide recommendations for how these features can be addressed in adapting existing evidence-based protocols and designing new interventions for adolescents, using examples from the literature to illustrate innovative applications. Overall, we argue that considering adolescent culture and thoughtfully tailoring treatment to that culture is consistent with the evidence-based practice framework and could enhance therapeutic outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)305-311
Number of pages7
JournalProfessional Psychology: Research and Practice
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2010


  • Adolescents
  • Culture
  • Evidence-based practice
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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