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Gender and treatment effects of a boot-camp program on inmates' attitudes towards substance abuse

11 December 2006


The current study compared male and female participants of a co-educational boot camp program on attitude change measures. Participants were 106 males and 39 females from Oregon's "Success Using Motivation, Morale, Intensity, and Treatment," or SUMMlT, program located in Shutter Creek-Correctional Facility in South Bend,Oregon. Pre- and post treatment responses from male and female participants' were compared on measures of attitudes towards substance use, antisocial attitudes, and experiential avoidance. Program participants completed the Action and Acceptance Questionnaire-Revised (AAQ-R),the Assertive Interactions Questionnaire (AIQ), and three subscales of the Drug Attitudes Scale (DAS) at program admission, at the program mid-point, and at program completion. It was hypothesized that significant differences between males and females in level of overall change would be found on all three measures, but no direction for the change was predicted. Exploration with independent sample t-tests revealed significant differences only on the AAQ-R (p < .001). Generally, the results did not support the hypothesis that men and women experienced different levels of attitude change while participating in co-ed boot camp treatment. Further exploration of the data set gathered for female participants (n = 39) comparing first half of treatment to second half of treatment revealed that women show consistent levels of change in a prosocial direction throughout the entire boot camp period on the AAQ-R and on the AIQ, but show a significant decrease in attitude change on the DAS in the last three months of treatment. These findings may have implications for co-educational boot camp programming, but further research with a more comparable female to male sample size ratio is needed to determine whether failure to find differences between men and women was due to true lack of differences or a function of the attitude measures used.


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