The specific responsivity principle suggests that personal characteristics of offenders may interfere with their ability to be receptive to treatment. This is the least researched aspect of the principles of effective intervention. While many have suggested this principle to be true, the exact personal characteristics thought to interfere with treatment are not yet known. This dissertation sought to address this principle by asking the following research questions,
1) Is gender a responsivity consideration? and
2) Are other characteristics such as intelligence, self-esteem, depression, personality, and a history of sexual abuse related to success in a cognitive-behavioral program?
Data were gathered on 446 men and women offenders and success was measured by program completion, no arrests, and no incarcerations. While many of the characteristics were not found to be related to success in cognitive-behavioral treatment, gender and a history of sexual abuse were found to be related. Women were less likely to be arrested and incarcerated and people with a history of sexual abuse were more likely to be arrested. What is equally as interesting is that other potential responsivity characteristics such as intelligence, personality, and self-esteem were not found to be related to outcomes. These findings suggest that cognitive-behavioral treatment, a program that meets the general responsivity principle, may help different types of offenders be receptive to treatment thus overriding the specific responsivity principle.
Hubbard, D. J. (2002). Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment: An Analysis Of Gender And Other Responsivity Characteristics And Their Effects On Success In Offender Rehabilitation (Doctoral dissertation).