Evaluation of a stage-based, computer-tailored adjunct to usual care for domestic violence offenders

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Objective: Research assessing the efficacy of court-mandated domestic violence treatment continues to yield inconsistent results. The current study examined whether Journey to Change, a transtheoretical model of behavior change-based treatment adjunct that consists of 3 computer-administered sessions and a print guide, could improve outcomes. Method: Male domestic violence offenders (N = 492) attending court-mandated batterer treatment were assigned to usual care (UC) or usual care + Journey to Change (UC + Journey). Results: Compared with UC, participants receiving UC + Journey were significantly more likely to be in the action stage at the end of treatment and to seek help and services outside of group. Based on victim reports, the UC + Journey group was significantly less likely than the UC group to engage in physical violence during the 12-month follow-up. Both groups were equally likely to drop out of court-mandated treatment and to have further domestic violence-related police involvement. However, among participants with police involvement, the UC + Journey group had lower rates of documented violence and physical injury. Conclusion: The pattern of findings across the multiple outcomes suggests that the Journey to Change program holds promise for improving some outcomes for domestic violence offenders in treatment and warrants further investigation. © 2012 American Psychological Association.

Publication Title

Psychology of Violence