Friday, September 28, 2012

Karis Dawn Pearson Fitch completes dissertation in the School of Psychology

The Effect of Self-Identified Stages of Change and Therapeutic Alliance on Attrition in Treatment in Incarcerated Juvenile Males, Karis Dawn Pearson Fitch

Although many communities and judges expect adolescent offenders to receive rehabilitative services while committed to juvenile correctional facilities, it can be problematic to maintain youth in treatment. This research study was developed to assess the association between an adolescent male offender’s Stage of Change and the overall strength of his therapeutic alliance with his primary therapist in relationship to treatment retention. The youth’s Stage of Change was measured with the University of Rhode Island Change Assessment; strength of therapeutic alliance was measured with the Working Alliance Inventory- Short Revised Form. In addition, the youth completed a Participant Information Questionnaire. Each participant completed the assessments and questionnaire at the onset of the study followed by a 3-month study period. At the end of the study period, data were collected regarding the participant’s retention in treatment. The intended analysis methods were problematic due to a lack of participant attrition from treatment and high participant expectation of remaining in treatment. Fisher's Exact test found no significance between Stage of Change and treatment retention. Logistic regression found no significance related to treatment retention and strength of working alliance or treatment expectations and strength of working alliance. A review of the distribution of the data along with considerations of unique environmental factors was conducted and implications for future research are offered.

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