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Sexual Offender Treatment Readiness, Responsivity, and Change: Linkages to Treatment Completion and Recidivism

Sowden, Justina N. PhD1,2; Olver, Mark E. PhD2

doi: 10.1097/JFN.0000000000000160
Original Articles

ABSTRACT This study examined the interrelationship of treatment readiness, responsivity variables, and treatment change to sexual offender treatment outcome, featuring the Treatment Readiness, Responsivity, and Gain Scale: Short Version (TRRG:SV). The sample was composed of 185 Canadian federal offenders who attended a high-intensity sexual offender treatment program and were followed up an average of 9.3 years postrelease. Men with higher levels of education, employment history, and cognitive ability and who were married or equivalent, did not have a serious mental illness or intellectual disability, and were not actuarially high risk tended to show higher levels of treatment engagement across the TRRG:SV subscales. Significant pre–post changes, denoting improvement, were observed on the TRRG:SV. In turn, positive treatment engagement assessed by the TRRG:SV was associated with increased risk-relevant treatment change, decreased program attrition, and reductions in sexual and violent recidivism, even after controlling for baseline risk. The role of attention to responsivity variables and treatment readiness to promote client engagement and maximize therapeutic benefit is underscored.

Author Affiliations:1Regional Psychiatric Centre, Correctional Service of Canada; and 2Department of Psychology, University of Saskatchewan.

The views, opinions, and assumptions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or official positions of the Correctional Service of Canada or the University of Saskatchewan. Mark E. Olver is a coauthor of the Violence Risk Scale-Sexual Offender Version and receives remuneration from consultation and training services with the tool.

Funding support for this research was provided by an internal grant awarded to Justina N. Sowden from the University of Saskatchewan's Centre for Forensic Behavioural Science and Justice Studies.

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Correspondence: Mark E. Olver, Department of Psychology, University of Saskatchewan, 9 Campus Drive, Arts Building Room 154, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada S7N 5A5. E-mail:

Received March 24, 2017; accepted for publication May 19, 2017.

© 2017 by the International Association of Forensic Nurses. All rights reserved.
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