Does the Transtheoretical Model Predict Attrition in Domestic Violence Treatment Programs?

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Attrition in intervention programs for domestically violent men is considered to be a serious and enduring problem. Researchers have found a number of sociodemographic variables that partially explain this phenomenon; however, models based on these variables have a limited predictive power. Scott (2004) argues that a firm theoretical base is needed in future investigations of the problem and suggests the use of the transtheoretical model of behavior change (TTM), which was found to predict dropout with accuracy in other areas of behavioral change. This study investigated the relationship between four TTM constructs (Stages of Change, Decisional Balance, Self-Efficacy, and Processes of Change) and premature termination with a sample of Canadian French-speaking men (N = 302) in five domestic violence treatment programs. Contrary to the initial hypotheses, the TTM constructs did not predict dropout. Discussion investigates how social desirability bias affects results being obtained by current TTM measures and whether more motivation to change at intake necessarily relates to involvement in treatment for longer periods of time.

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