Measuring and enhancing offenders' motivation for treatment and change
Campbell, Jacqueline Aneen
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Motivating offenders to engage in a treatment programme is important as engagement in treatment is often seen as an intermediate goal before behaviour change (Ward, Day, Howells & Birgden, 2004). A lack of motivation is a reason why some offenders drop out of treatment (McMurran & McCulloch, 2007; Pelisser, 2007) and dropping out of treatment can lead to an increased risk of recidivism (Cann, Falshaw, Nugent, & Friendship, 2003; Hanson & Bussiere, 1998; McMurran & Theodosi, 2007; Hanson & Harris, 2000). This thesis reports on the construction, on-going development and testing of a goal-based semi-structured interview procedure that holds potential to explore an offender's treatment motivation: the Personal Aspirations and Concerns Inventory – for Offenders (PACI-O). A pilot study confirmed the suitability of the PACI-O for use with offenders. Psychometric testing indicated that the PACI-O can identify adaptive and maladaptive motivation profiles in an offender. These motivation profiles were found to be related to the degree to which the offenders in the general prison population engaged in a cognitive skills treatment programme. This indicates that the PACI-O has potential as a measure of offender treatment motivation. Results of a randomised controlled trial indicated that some offenders who complete the PACI-O before treatment engage more in treatment, finish with a better motivation structure and have reduced impulsivity levels (high impulsivity has been linked to recidivism risk; Wong & Gordon, 1998) compared to offenders who attend treatment as usual. It was concluded that the PACI-O may have utility as an initial assessment of treatment motivation that can highlight problems with an offender's motivation structure which, if not attended to, may impede on their treatment engagement. Furthermore, due to the additional focus on personal goals, the PACI-O interview procedure may have utility as a brief, time-efficient pre-treatment motivation enhancer.
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