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Multimodal Approach to Controlling Inpatient Assaultiveness Among Incarcerated Juveniles

NCJ Number
Journal of Offender Rehabilitation Volume: 25 Issue: 1/2 Dated: 1997 Pages: 31-42
Carlo Morrissey
Date Published
12 pages
This study shows how a multimodal treatment approach that uses a broad range of behavioral, cognitive-behavioral, and psychological skills training methods can eliminate the incidence of assaultive behavior among incarcerated juvenile offenders.
Cognitive-behavioral theory views aggressive behavior as a reaction rooted in distortions and limitations in cognitive processes concerned with perceived hostilities or provocations. Social-learning theorists expand this theory by including such factors as the modeling and reinforcement of antisocial behavior in the aggressive adolescent by parents and other significant adults. Psychological skills training conceptualizes the problem of aggressive antisocial adolescents in ways similar to social-learning theorists. Psychological skills training views the problem more in terms of education and the need to learn new skills. Through the teaching of new skills and allowing opportunities to practice these skills, psychological skills training broadens and increases the efficacy of the trainee's behavioral repertoire. The psychological skills training used in the current study relied on the work of Goldstein and Glick (1987). The current study compared the behavioral changes that occurred in two treatment groups at the Massachusetts Department of Youth Services Worcester Secure Treatment Unit. The period examined was from April 1987 to August 1990. The study found significant differences in violent and disruptive behaviors between the two study groups. In each of the problem areas under review, those youths who received the multimodal treatment interventions showed significant changes in or at least considerably better behavior. 3 tables and 24 references