Psychology ETDs


Julie Brovko

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Background and Aims Previous research has shown that the rate of recidivism for sexual offenders is related to their substance use. Other research has shown that motivation to engage in treatment and motivation to decrease substance use are related to substance use treatment outcome. Thus, the overall goal of the current study was to increase sexual offenders motivation to engage in mandated substance abuse treatment and decrease their future substance use. There were five aims: (1)Test the feasibility of a brief motivation intervention with a population of sexual offenders who were court mandated to substance abuse treatment. (2) Examine change trajectories in motivation over the four weeks of study participation as well as to test whether the brief motivational intervention lead to differential changes in motivation. (3) Test whether there was a main effect of treatment assignment on follow up measures. (4) Test whether changes in motivation accounted for changes in the behavioral differences that were found. Due to a number of reasons, aim four was not implemented. (5) Conduct exploratory analyses. Method Twenty-two adult males who committed a sexual offense and were receiving treatment in Albuquerque, New Mexico were consented into the study and randomized into a brief motivational intervention condition or educational control condition. Approximately four weeks later, they participated in a follow up assessment. Assessments included measures of motivation, engagement in treatment and utilization of community resources that supported abstinence and substance abuse treatment. Findings and Conclusions Results showed that the brief motivational intervention was feasible and well-liked by the participants. Additionally, results showed there was no differential change in motivation by group over time but that participants who received the brief motivational intervention were perceived by their therapist as more engaged in treatment than those in the control condition X2 (1,18) = 3.99, p<..04. Finally, this study has helped to fill the gap in statistics regarding the offender population and offender treatment in the state of New Mexico. Future studies should replicate this study using larger sample sizes and female offender populations. Additionally, future studies should include longer follow-up periods and track recidivism rates and reasons.

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First Committee Member (Chair)

Tonigan, J. Scott

Second Committee Member

Venner, Kamilla

Third Committee Member

Mullen, David




Sexual Offender, Motivational Interviewing, Substance Abuse

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