Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Family Consumer Human Development

Committee Chair(s)

D. Kim Openshaw


D. Kim Openshaw


Troy Beckert


Dave Forbush


The purpose of this study was to explore perceptions of adolescent's motivation to change in therapy, specifically while residing in a residential treatment center (RTC) and participating in family therapy. Motivation for change was examined in three contexts. The first context for examining the adolescent's motivation for change was in re lat ion to their stage of therapy. The second and third contexts for examining the adolescent 's motivation for change was in relation to perceptions the adolescent's therapi st and parent had of their motivation to change. In addition, the study explored whether there was a relationship between the congruence of perceptions of motivation to change between adolescent and therapist, and adolescent and his or her parent with the adolescent's progress in therapy. A sample of I 0 adolescent clients in a RTC completed the University of Rhode Island Change Assessment (U RICA). The sample also included the adolescents' I 0 parents and four therapists. Parents and therapists completed revised lr versions of the URICA developed to obtain therapists' and parents' perceptions of adolescents' motivation to change. The findings indicated that most adolescents reported scores suggesting that their level of motivation would be classified as in the preparation stage of change. Data from the study also suggested that therapists and parents perceived adolescents as higher on the pre contemplation sub scale ofURICA than the adolescents perceived themselves. No support was found for the theoretical relationship between congruence in perceptions of motivation and progress in therapy, but future research needs to determine if a relationship exists given the inability to examine this relationship statistically due to limitations of the study. Considerations for future research are given along with implications for marriage and family therapy.