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Pilot evaluation of the Coping Course: a cognitive-behavioral intervention to enhance coping skills in incarcerated youth.

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1
Oregon Research Institute, Eugene, 97403, USA. paulr@ori.org

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To describe the development and initial evaluation of the Coping Course, a cognitive-behavioral group intervention designed to enhance general coping and problem-solving skills among incarcerated youth.

METHOD:

Between 2001 and 2002, 76 male adolescents incarcerated at a youth correctional facility were assessed by questionnaire and randomly assigned to either the Coping Course (n = 46) or usual care (n = 30). Participants repeated the questionnaire after completion of the intervention. A second correctional facility served as an additional source of control group data (n = 62).

RESULTS:

Significant condition x time effects were present for seven of the examined measures: Youth Self-Report externalizing scores, three measures from the Life Attitudes Scale, self-esteem, one measure of social adjustment, and cognitive-behavioral therapy knowledge. Age and race/ethnicity did not moderate effects. Comparing control group participants with youth at a separate correctional facility who did not receive the Coping Course indicated that change was uniquely associated with participation in the intervention.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our goal was to take an efficacious adolescent depression group intervention and modify it for use with youth in correctional facilities. Preliminary findings are promising and provide evidence for future research of cognitive-behavioral group treatments with incarcerated youth.

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