Relevance of a stage of change analysis for violence reduction training

George Ronan, James Gerhart, Donald Bannister, Christopher Udell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Although studies have supported the efficacy of treatment aimed at reducing levels of violence, a significant number of individuals fail to either complete or benefit from treatment. A widely speculated reason for treatment failure centers on the lack of readiness to change. We assessed the impact of a stage of change analysis on the skill acquisition of 265 adults enrolled in a 14-week violence reduction protocol based on a social problem-solving model. Readiness to change, strategies for resolving high conflict situations, and social problem solving skills were assessed pre- and posttreatment. A significant increase in the use of effective strategies for resolving conflicts and social problem solving skills was observed from pre- to posttreatment. Skill acquisition was independent of initial stage of change scores. Moreover, a significant percentage of participants reported decreases in their readiness to change at posttreatment, and this reversal had discernable impact on skill acquisition. We outline the need for additional theoretical and empirical work integrating the topography of violent behavior into the readiness to change construct is necessary.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)761-772
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Forensic Psychiatry and Psychology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2010


  • Intervention
  • Violence
  • Violent offence


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