The Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI) is a questionnaire used to predict treatment outcomes and is self-administered. For substance use offenders in the criminal justice system, predicting the behavior during treatment and the outcome of treatment is a vital aspect of rehabilitation. “Additionally, several other PAI scales, such as Antisocial Features (ANT), Borderline Features (BOR), Aggression (AGG), and Drug Problems (DRG), assess domains of psychopathology and behavior problems that might disrupt the course and ultimate outcome of treatment for substance abusing offenders,” said Melissa S. Magyar of Texas A&M University, lead author of a recent study measuring the effectiveness of the PAI for rehabilitation purposes in incarcerated substance users. She added that gauging externalizing and internalizing behaviors is another critical part of forecasting treatment effectiveness and should be considered when selecting a tool for evaluation.
The 331 male participants were part of a larger personality disorder study and were all undergoing drug treatment programs while incarcerated or through a residential facility. The men were between the ages of 18 and 46 years old and received treatment for six months. The researchers used the PAI to evaluate motivation, interpersonal style and psychopathology, among other character traits, to predict the progress of the offenders throughout the treatment process. “Certain key findings were generally encouraging, particularly for the AGG scale and the interpersonal style scales,” said the team, referring to the fact that the Aggression Scale revealed the most consistent and accurate predictions. They added that the externalizing scale did forecast behaviors associated with externalization, such as noncompliance, aggression, negative perception of progress and overall unruliness. “Our results suggest that the PAI—particularly the AGG scale—helps to identify individuals who are relatively more likely to misbehave in treatment and/or are less likely to complete treatment.” Magyar added, “Still, individuals with high AGG scores may have been significantly less aggressive in these treatment programs than they would have been outside of them, and they also may be as likely as anyone else to benefit from treatment by showing reduced risk for reoffending.”
Magyar, M. S., Edens, J. F., Lilienfeld, S. O., Douglas, K. S., Poythress, N. G., Jr., & Skeem, J. L. (2011, September 19). Using the Personality Assessment Inventory to Predict Male Offenders’ Conduct During and Progression Through Substance Abuse Treatment. Psychological Assessment. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1037/a0025359
© Copyright 2011 by By Noah Rubinstein, LMFT, LMHC, therapist in Olympia, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org.
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