Cover: Change Talk in a Group Motivational Interviewing Setting and Risk Reduction Among Homeless Young Adults

Change Talk in a Group Motivational Interviewing Setting and Risk Reduction Among Homeless Young Adults

Published Nov 3, 2015

by Leslie Mullins

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Over the past thirty years, Motivational Interviewing (MI) has been used to elicit change in a wide range of behaviors. During an MI session, the counselor uses open-ended questions and reflections to elicit behavior modifying language. This language is referred to as "change talk" (CT). MI is usually conducted in one-to-one sessions. However, in many service delivery settings (such as drop-in centers for homeless youth), staff time and other resources are too limited to be able to offer this type of individual counseling. MI delivered in a group setting is more feasible and thereby more likely to be sustainable in community-based settings. For this reason, there has been growing interest in delivering MI in group settings. However, few group MI interventions have been rigorously evaluated, and there is a need to better understand how group MI works in predicting client behavior change. The results of this study should be of interest to policymakers, researchers and practitioners who are seeking to expand the evidence-based literature for health-related risk reduction interventions targeting homeless youth. If effective and widely utilized, the proposed streamlined MI coding process would greatly decrease the amount of resources needed to examine the effects of non-judgmental, collaborative, evidence- based group MI interventions, similar to the pilot intervention examined in this study.

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This document was submitted as a dissertation in August 2015 in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the doctoral degree in public policy analysis at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. The faculty committee that supervised and approved the dissertation consisted of Joan Tucker (Chair), Kathryn Derose, and Lisa Blakely.

This publication is part of the RAND dissertation series. Pardee RAND dissertations are produced by graduate fellows of the Pardee RAND Graduate School, the world's leading producer of Ph.D.'s in policy analysis. The dissertations are supervised, reviewed, and approved by a Pardee RAND faculty committee overseeing each dissertation.

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