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An evaluation of a brief anger management programme for offenders managed in the community using cross-lagged panel models

Timothy James Trimble (Department of Psychology, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland.)
Mark Shevlin (University of Ulster at Magee, Londonderry, Northern Ireland, Ireland.)
Vincent Egan (Psychiatry and Applied Psychology, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, United Kingdom.)
Geraldine O'Hare (Probation Board for Northern Ireland, Belfast, Ireland.)
Dave Rogers (Probation Board for Northern Ireland, Belfast, Ireland.)
Barbara Hannigan (Department of Psychology, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland.)

Journal of Criminal Psychology

ISSN: 2009-3829

Article publication date: 5 May 2015

254

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the effectiveness of a brief, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy-based group intervention in anger management with male offenders. All participants were the subject of a stipulation to attend the programme under a probation order, and were at the time of the study being managed in the community.

Design/methodology/approach

Totally, 105 offenders attended the anger management programme, which was delivered by the Probation Board for Northern Ireland (PBNI), between 2008 and 2010 across a range of centres, representing most regions of the province. Prior to treatment, the offenders completed two measures: The State Trait Anger Expression Inventory (STAXI), and the Stages of Change Scales (SCS). Both these measures were also completed at the end of the programme of treatment.

Findings

It was found that the programme significantly reduced the expression of anger as well as state and trait anger among offenders referred to the programme as measured by the STAXI. Both the action and maintenance subscales of the SCS were significant predictors of improvement in anger expression. The action subscale was shown to be a valuable predictor of readiness for change amongst the offenders.

Originality/value

Assessing an offender’s readiness to change may enhance selection for specific rehabilitation programs thus reducing drop-out rates leading to a more efficient use of resources. This study demonstrates that those participants who were found to be more ready for change, benefited most from the intervention programme.

Keywords

Citation

Trimble, T.J., Shevlin, M., Egan, V., O'Hare, G., Rogers, D. and Hannigan, B. (2015), "An evaluation of a brief anger management programme for offenders managed in the community using cross-lagged panel models", Journal of Criminal Psychology, Vol. 5 No. 2, pp. 124-136. https://doi.org/10.1108/JCP-02-2015-0006

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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