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Effects of a shoplifters counselling program on hardiness, depression and self-concept Ciccone, Cristina Maria


This study was concerned with evaluating the effectiveness of the Shoplifters Counselling Program (SCP) operated by the Elizabeth Fry Society of British Columbia. The concept of hardiness was used as a theoretical framework with which to assess treatment outcome. It was expected that the SCP would be more effective in reducing depression, and in increasing self-concept, commitment and internal control, from pre- to posttreatment, for first offenders (FO) compared to repeat offenders (RO). Subjects were 42 females and 7 males, aged 19-77 (M=39.1) referred to the SCP for treatment and asked to volunteer as participants in the research. Treatment consisted of 6 weekly 2-hour sessions. Prior to the first session subjects were assessed on measures of self-concept, depression, commitment, and control. Participants were assessed again at post-treatment and at 6-week follow-up. Repeated measures, multivariate analysis of variance, with preplanned contrasts, indicated that the FO and RO groups changed differentially from pre- to post-treatment on measures of depression (F(1,24)=7.64,p<.01), but not on measures of self-concept, commitment, and control. From posttest to follow-up, regardless of the number of prior offences, subjects had significantly changed on all dependent measures. Results suggest that, with the exception of depression scores, the SCP is equally effective for FO's and RO's in achieving the desired changes. Due to the fact that only 2 men remained in the study at follow-up, generalizability of results is limited to women. Implications of these results and recommendations for future studies are discussed.

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