Psychoneuroimmunology: Enhancing Treatment Efficacy and Reducing Sexual Offender Recidivism In Court-Mandated Treatment

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Zeidler, Cameron F.
Psychoneuroimmunology; Recidivism; Risk Assessment; Sexual Paraphilia; Court-Mandated Treatment; Sexual Offender; Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy; Psychoeducation; Quantitative Research; Sex Offender Treatment; Parole; Probation; California Penal Code; Mental Disorders; Other Psychiatry and Psychology; Psychiatry and Psychology
thesis / dissertation description
Despite astronomical costs, state-funded sex offender treatment has a sole purpose of protecting communities at large. Designed to treat sexual psychopaths, costly state risk management programs are required to use traditional, outdated treatment models, which lack empirical support, lack published research, and lack curricula written at the seventh grade reading level. Psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) eagerly proves to be a new modality for Psychoeducation (PE) enhancing treatment efficacy and reducing offender recidivism in court-mandated treatment. The distinction in the present study is the difference between PE alone (control group) and PE with PNI (experimental group). Specifically, this study investigated the extent to which implementing the PNI treatment intervention was associated with decreased recidivism in court-mandated treatment. This study employed a quantitative research design with repeated measures with multiple linear regression analyses. The two-independent/question predictor variables: treatment interventions of PNI (18-months and 24-months of treatment) were compared on one dependent variable: (reduction in the participant’s chance of recidivating following treatment). An association of decreased recidivism was established with results that demonstrated a statistically significant effect or difference between the control and treatment groups. Significant effects were evaluated for using regression beta coefficients with t-value and significance of t-values associations, respectively. Furthermore, results suggested that implementing the PNI treatment intervention in the experimental group produced a statistically significant effect between groups. There was a significant bivariate correlation between implementation of treatment intervention and participants who were experiencing: (a) financial problems (β = -4.06, p = .13), (b) family/marital v problems (β = 1.71, p = .009), (c) negative social support influence (β = .77, p = .07) and (d) participants whose history included the presence of alcohol or drugs (β = .69, p =.042). This variable was significant in Table 7 regression model and therefore the hypothesis was supported. Sexually deviant offenders mandated to receive treatment for sex offences were more likely to benefit from PNI treatment than their non-PNI counterparts in reducing their risk of recidivism. Implications for further research, as well as the need to formulate specialized treatment for psychopathic sex offenders are discussed. The electronic version of the dissertation is accessible at the Ohiolink ETD center