Individual and environmental predictors of attrition from a court -mandated anger management group for adolescents
Cognitive-behavioral anger management groups have been established as an efficacious treatment for anger and aggression problems in adolescents. A central issue in providing anger management groups as a community-based treatment for court involved adolescents is attrition. No studies have investigated predictors of attrition from this intervention. This study investigated individual and environmental predictors of attrition from a community-based anger management group intervention for court-involved adolescents. Forty-one adolescents participated in this intervention. These participants reported on the following predictors of treatment attrition: (1) mental health, (2) academic progress, (3) aggressiveness, (4) goals, (5) attitude toward behavior change, (6) delinquent peers, (7) parental monitoring, (8) frequency of family meals, (9) life changes, and (10) pro-social community activities.
A series of logistic regression equations were used to determine which of the ten aforementioned risk factors for delinquency might predict treatment attrition. The four predictors that emerged (p < .05) were entered into another regression equation. As a result three predictors, being classified as academically behind (B = −3.44, S.E. = 1.35, p = .01), attitude towards aggressive behavior change (B = −3.71, S.E. = 1.34, p = .01), more delinquent peers (B = .72, S.E. = .29, p = .01), significantly predicted treatment attrition. This three-predictor model correctly classified 82.5 percent of the participants as completers or dropouts, and accounted for 52% of the variance in treatment attrition. The results of this study indicated that several well-known risk factors for delinquency also predicted therapy attrition. Understanding predictors of attrition from a community-based anger management group intervention can help clinicians screen court-involved adolescents least likely to benefit from this intervention. The results of this study should be interpreted with caution due in part to the small sample size.