An initial assessment of the importance of responsivity factors in rehabilitative treatment for high-risk, persistant, violent adult male offenders : a review and meta analysis of global treatment programmes : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree in Masters of Arts in Psychology at Massey University, New Zealand

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Whilst considerable attention has been placed on researching what contributes to a fall in reoffending, this has been limited to younger, lower risk male offenders and focussed on risk and criminogenic needs. Little research exists about the less easily measured process factors which address the Responsivity principle and even less about what is effective with the highest risk violent adult male offenders. However much information has been published about the characteristics of such men and interpersonal difficulties and complex needs would both seem to be significant responsivity issues to engaging successfully in treatment. This thesis offers a preliminary exploration into the impact of attention to the therapeutic alliance and the flexibility of treatment to respond to individual needs. An associated issue is whether non completion rates are linked to each of these factors and subsequent reoffending rates. The statistical significance of this meta analysis suffers from a small numbers of studies with this high risk population and a lack of reporting of quality information about these matters. To this end a systematic review of studies is appended to assist the reader to have a fuller picture. The aim of this study is to invite more interest to understanding the responsivity principle in action. Consistently over the past 30 years studies report very modest treatment effect sizes for a wide range of offenders. Presumably better treatment outcome rates are possible. If treatment effect sizes are to increase, one course of action could be to experiment with the under explored areas of responsivity. Another possibility is to examine the extreme outliers in treatment effects and understand the reasons for these. Both of these approaches are incorporated in this study.
Violent offenders, Violent men, Violent male offenders, Treatment of violent offending, Rehabilitation of violent offenders