Cognitive restructuring : effects on recidivism

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Kirkpatrick, Bonnie Lavonne High
Wood, George S., 1930-
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Thesis (D. Ed.)
Department of Educational Leadership
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The purpose of this baseline study was to determine the effectiveness of a cognitive restructuring program in reducing recidivism of offenders under supervision in a communitybased setting. The study also sought to determine the relationships between three outcomes (no recidivism within one year of release from the community-based supervised setting, violation of Home Detention requirements resulting in incompleteness of court ordered supervision, and recidivism within one year of release from Home Detention) and risk predictor variables including hours of participation in a cognitive restructuring program (Criminal Intervention), gender, race, age, previous criminal history, educational attainment, and history of substance abuse.The population of the study included offenders under sentence of community-based supervision during a two-year period from November, 1992 to October, 1994. One group of 297 offenders participated in the cognitive restructuring intervention program; another group of 346 offenders did not participate. Chi-square analyses based in contingency tables determined statistical significance of the categorical variables, and stepwise discriminant analysis was utilized to create a model that best differentiated between three outcome groups.When using 16 predictor variables, the results of discriminant analyses indicated that outcomes between groups could be differentiated by a function that accounted for 94% of the variability between groups and resulted in no statistically significant residual discriminations. Pearson product-moment correlational analyses indicated only modest correlations between the variables, and chi-square analyses resulted in the rejection of seven out of ten hypotheses concerning outcome and the categorical risk variables.Two important findings relating to the treatment program, Criminal Intervention, were found. Post-release recidivism of offenders was reduced by 7%. However, offenders participating in the treatment program were terminated from supervision due to violations of the conditions for that supervision at an additional rate of 10% over the nonparticipating violators. The review of the literature and research findings confirmed that individual differences were important to successful rehabilitation; therefore, appropriate matching between intervention program and offender risk and need was warranted. Follow up studies, comprehensive offender assessments, and development, utilization, and validation of a comprehensive risk assessment tool was recommended for future research.