Motivation for substance abuse treatment: The relationship between stages of change, intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, and treatment attendance

Carie Ann Gavigan, Fordham University

Abstract

Motivation for treatment and stage of readiness for change are widely believed to be important factors influencing successful outcomes in substance abuse treatment. However, the mechanisms through which these variables function to influence positive treatment outcomes have received limited empirical investigation and have been poorly understood. This study investigated the effects of intrinsic and extrinsic sources of motivation for treatment and stage of readiness for change expressed at intake on attendance in substance abuse treatment in a sample of 142 adults seeking treatment for substance abuse problems. The study also investigated the relationship of type of motivation for treatment to stage of readiness to change behavior expressed at intake in this sample. ^ While it had been hypothesized that higher levels of intrinsic motivation for treatment and higher stage of readiness to change behavior expressed at intake would be significant positive predictors of attendance in treatment, the only significant predictor of attendance in treatment was found to be level of care, with patients who were assigned to an inpatient form of treatment being significantly more likely to attend the recommended course of treatment than people who were assigned to outpatient treatment. Level of intrinsic motivation expressed at intake was found to be significantly related to stage of readiness to change substance abuse behavior. In particular, it was found that lower levels of intrinsic motivation for treatment at intake predicted higher levels of Precontemplation readiness to change, while higher levels of intrinsic motivation for treatment predicted higher levels of Contemplation readiness to change. Level of extrinsic motivation for treatment expressed at intake did not predict stage of readiness to change. ^ These findings lend support to the suggestion that attendance and retention in substance abuse treatment may be better explained by dynamic models, rather than by static client variables measured at intake. The findings further suggest that people present for substance abuse treatment with varying degrees of readiness to change behavior and with varying types of motivation for treatment. The results suggest that motivational enhancement interventions should focus on helping clients to identify and value sources of motivation that are personally meaningful. ^

Subject Area

Psychology, Clinical

Recommended Citation

Carie Ann Gavigan, "Motivation for substance abuse treatment: The relationship between stages of change, intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, and treatment attendance" (January 1, 2001). ETD Collection for Fordham University. Paper AAI3022795.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI3022795

Share

COinS