Date of Conferral



Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.)




Melody M. Moore


AbstractIncarcerated substance users frequently recidivate because of a lack of substance treatment; it was not known whether motivational interviewing (MI) significantly reduces recidivism among substance users. The purpose of this quantitative study was to evaluate the effectiveness of MI as a treatment method for reducing recidivism among incarcerated individuals with substance use disorders. Social cognitive and extrinsic motivation theories served as the theoretical foundation for the study. Motivation is an important factor in offender engagement with treatment and has been linked to improved treatment outcomes. The research questions asked whether the availability of MI in detention facilities was significantly related to rates of recidivism among substance use offenders with at least 1 previous conviction. The study involved convenience sampling to gather data from rehabilitation centers in 92 counties in Indiana from the Indiana Department of Correction. Data were analyzed to determine whether the availability of MI in detention facilities was significantly related to rates of recidivism. An independent samples t-test showed no significant difference in the recidivism rates of counties with MI compared with counties without MI. Findings suggest that alternative approaches may be necessary for correctional personnel to use with offenders and that MI may be more effective when used with other approaches. Positive social change implications include that other methods besides MI may be necessary to reduce recidivism in substance users, such as CBT and Social Cognitive Theory leading both to decreased substance use and recidivism. Findings also indicate that a more extensive staff training can improve MI training at local levels may be needed. Improving MI training can help increase the effectiveness of MI as an intervention for substance use problems.