Cognitive-behavioral program for young offenders : by focusing on the peer helping approach
Borden, Sara J.
Master of Arts
SubjectJuvenile delinquents Counseling of Ontario Thunder Bay
Cognitive therapy Ontario Thunder Bay
Juvenile delinquents Ontario Thunder Bay Psychology
MetadataShow full item record
The present study evaluated a newly developed cognitive behavioral program, the Equip program (Gibbs, Potter & Goldstein, 1995), that focuses on teaching youth to think and act responsibly through a peer helping approach. The 10-week program, which includes components of anger management, social skills training and moral development was implemented with a group of moderate to high risk young offenders in a secure custody facility in Thunder Bay, Ontario. The Equip program was compared to an alternative cognitive behavioral program currently implemented with young offenders in the Thunder Bay area and a control group consisting of youth serving probation sentences in the community and receiving minimal intervention. Pre and post measures o f social skills, cognitive distortions and behavioral outcomes indicated that relative to the control group. Equip members evidenced significant gains in overall levels of social skills and skills involved in dealing with peer pressure. Although no behavioral gains were found, results also revealed clinically significant improvements in cognitive distortions for the alternative treatment group, providing support for the use of cognitively based programs with young offenders.