Alcohol misuse and coercive treatment: exploring offenders' experiences within a dialogical framework.
AuthorAshby, Joanne L.
Alcohol Treatment Requirement (ATR)
National Health Service (NHS)
Alcohol dependent offenders
The University of Bradford theses are licenced under a Creative Commons Licence.
InstitutionUniversity of Bradford
DepartmentDepartment of Social Sciences and Humanities, Division of Psychology.
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractIn the UK there has been growing concern about the relationship between levels of alcohol consumption and offending behaviour. The Alcohol Treatment Requirement (ATR) was introduced to the UK in 2007 and was piloted in a District in the north of England in July 2007. The ATR is a coercive form of treatment delivered jointly by the probation service and the National Health Service (NHS) and was funded by the NHS. The ATR centres on supporting offenders to cease their offending behaviour and reduce or end their alcohol misuse. Two female alcohol treatment workers have been appointed to specifically deliver the ATR. Therefore this study aimed to investigate the delivery of the ATR, and more specifically, aimed to explore what impact the ATR might have in relation to positive behaviour change and rehabilitation for offenders with alcohol problems. In order to meet the expectations of producing ¿outcome¿ data for the NHS funders, and indepth theoretical data worthy of an academic PhD, this research took a pragmatic methodological approach which enabled different social realities of the ATR to be explored. To this end, a mixed methods design was employed involving quantitative and qualitative data collection methods. The data for this research was generated in three phases with Phase One aiming to explore quantitatively the characteristics, impacts and outcomes of those sentenced to the ATR. This phase revealed that the ATR is being delivered to predominantly young, male, alcohol dependent, violent, persistent offenders. This analysis further revealed that the ATR was effective in bringing about positive treatment outcomes and in reducing reoffending. In order to explore further how this positive change was occurring, Phase Two consisted of qualitative participant observations of the treatment interaction involving the female alcohol treatment workers and the male offenders. By drawing on positioning theory, the analysis considered the complexity of the gendered interactions that occurred during these encounters. It was found that the two female alcohol treatment workers resisted positions of ¿feminine carer¿ offered up by these young men in order to occupy positions of control. Indeed this analysis provided great insight into the constant flow of negotiations and manoeuvring of positions that occurred between the alcohol treatment worker and the offender, argued to be vitally important in working towards positive behaviour change. During Phase Three ten offenders were interviewed in order to explore through a dialogical lens (Bakhtin, 1982) how they constructed and experienced treatment on the ATR. In exploring the offenders¿ stories dialogically, the analysis highlighted how the ATR was enabling, in that it offered a ¿space¿ for these offenders to engage and internalise a dialogue that draws on the authoritative voice of therapy. Therefore it was revealed that through dialogue with the ¿other¿, offenders were able to re-author a more ¿moral¿ and ¿worthy¿ self. Moreover, the ATR has been found to be successful in enabling the offenders¿ hegemonic masculine identities to be both challenged and protected as a result of the multilayered interactions that occurred during these treatment encounters. This research therefore concludes that coercive treatment, rather than being a concern, should be embraced as a way of enabling change for offenders with alcohol problems. Furthermore, this research has highlighted the value of the relational aspect of treatment in bringing about positive behaviour changes. Finally this research has shown that community sentences offer a more constructive way of engaging with offenders than those who receive a custodial sentence.
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Delivering the Alcohol Treatment Requirement in Wakefield: Phase Two.Ashby, Joanne L.; Horrocks, Christine; Kelly, Nancy (NHS Wakefield District and University of Bradford, Department of Social Sciences and Humanities., 2009)Alcohol treatment requirements (ATRs) were introduced under section 212 of the criminal justice act (2003) and offers treatment for those whose offending behaviour has been found to be linked to either hazardous or harmful drinking patterns. This current report aims to provide information around the characteristics of individuals who have participated in the ATR. The report is based on quantitative data collected from probation records and treatment files and is part of a wider study of the ATR in Wakefield. The impact of this treatment approach, based on 'coercion' is explored and this report presents outcome data in relation to offenders' participation, retention and rehabilitation.
Alcohol, empathy, and morality: acute effects of alcohol consumption on affective empathy and moral decision-makingFrancis, Kathryn B.; Gummerum, M.; Ganis, G.; Howard, I.S.; Terbeck, S. (Springer, 2019)Rationale: Hypothetical moral dilemmas, pitting characteristically utilitarian and non-utilitarian outcomes against each other, have played a central role in investigations of moral decision-making. Preferences for utilitarian over non-utilitarian responses have been explained by two contrasting hypotheses; one implicating increased deliberative reasoning, and the other implicating diminished harm aversion. In recent field experiments, these hypotheses have been investigated using alcohol intoxication to impair both social and cognitive functioning. These studies have found increased utilitarian responding, arguably as a result of alcohol impairing affective empathy. Objectives: The present research expands existing investigations by examining the acute effects of alcohol on affective empathy and subsequent moral judgments in traditional vignettes and moral actions in virtual reality, as well as physiological responses in moral dilemmas. Methods: Participants (N = 48) were administered either a placebo or alcohol in one of two dosages; low or moderate. Both pre- and post intervention, participants completed a moral action and moral judgment task alongside behavioural measures of affective empathy. Results: Higher dosages of alcohol consumption resulted in inappropriate empathic responses to facial displays of emotion, mirroring responses of individuals high in trait psychopathy, but empathy for pain was unaffected. Whilst affective empathy was influenced by alcohol consumption in a facial responding task, both moral judgments and moral actions were unaffected. Conclusions: These results suggest that facets, beyond or in addition to deficits in affective empathy, might influence the relationship between alcohol consumption and utilitarian endorsements.
Binge drinking behaviour, attitudes and beliefs in a UK community sample: An analysis by age, gender and deprivation.McMahon, J.; McAlaney, John; Edgar, F. (Informa Healthcare, 2007)Binge drinking has sparked considerable interest and concern. However despite this interest little is known about the lay understanding of binge drinking and whether there are differences in understanding by gender, age and level of deprivation. Aims: This study investigated the beliefs and attitudes of a sample in the Inverclyde area to binge drinking. Methods: Using both cluster and quota sampling, 586 subjects completed a structured interview, using open questions about their beliefs on binge drinking and was it a problem generally and locally. Findings: Definitions of binge drinking tended to concentrate on intoxication and some described a dependent drinking pattern. Causes and solutions offered were varied but pointed up levels of deprivation in respect of jobs and entertainment. More subjects regarded binge drinking as a problem in society than locally, which is consistent with research suggesting that misperceptions of others¿ drinking increases with social distance. Differences in beliefs were found by age and level of deprivation but not gender. It was marked that no subject offered the `official¿ definition of bingeing or even an approximation of it. Conclusions: Further research is required if future mass media campaigns and interventions are to be relevant to the population.