Measuring Motivation to Change in Sexual Offenders From Institutional Intake to Community Treatment
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Changes in motivational levels occurring during various stages of treatment (institutional and community) were measured among 101 federally sentenced sexual offenders in the Ontario region. Motivation was conceptualized as a dynamic process that can be construed from behavioral referents and more global evaluations of internal features/readiness/psychological stance. Five motivational indices were examined: acceptance of guilt for the offense; acceptance of personal responsibility for the offense; disclosure of personal information; motivation to change behavior; and participation in treatment. Offender scores on these indices were evaluated using the Goal Attainment Scaling protocol (T. Hogue, 1994), at four stages of the treatment process: (1) at institutional assessment, (2) following institutional treatment, (3) upon conditional release to the community, and (4) following a 12-week period of community treatment. Results showed that motivation to change sexually deviant behavior was higher at the end of institutional treatment relative to the initial assessment. However, levels of motivation decreased upon conditional release to the community, with few offenders making significant rebounds following 12 weeks of community treatment. Admission of guilt and acceptance of personal responsibility (measured at community treatment) were both significantly associated with treatment outcome.
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