Date of Conferral







Kathryn Dardeck


Adolescents with acting-out behavior have an increased risk of dropping out of high school, incarceration, and early mortality. Researchers have indicated the need for studies using motivational interviewing (MI) to promote behavioral change. There is a gap in the literature about the efficacy of MI with adolescents and clinicians' knowledge of, and attitude toward, MI. Using self-determination theory as the grounding theory, this study examined the knowledge and attitudes of 73 clinicians on the island of St. Croix, Virgin Islands, about knowledge and attitudes of MI and whether it predicted the use of MI as a therapeutic intervention for adolescents who exhibit acting-out behavior. A cross-sectional survey was used to collect data using an adapted version of Leffingwell's Motivational Interviewing Knowledge and Attitudes Test (MIKAT). Two phases were required: a pilot study and a full study. A pilot study of 10 clinicians was used to establish the reliability of the revised MIKAT. In total a purposive sample of 73 clinicians participated in the full study, which includes the 10 from the pilot study. Results of the multiple linear regression test indicated that knowledge about MI and attitudes towards MI were not significant predictors of likelihood to use MI (p = .875). The results of this study may contribute to positive social change by supporting the development of effective training for clinicians who work with adolescents on St. Croix, where adolescent behavior is of great concern.