ERIC Number: EJ1126423
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Feb
Abstractor: As Provided
Religiosity and Therapeutic Alliance among Youth Who Commit Sexual Crimes
Yoder, Jamie; Bovard-Johns, Rian M.
Child & Youth Care Forum, v46 n1 p119-135 Feb 2017
Background: Delinquency research argues that youth religion and spirituality are associated with desistence. The therapeutic alliance has been shown to be partially responsible for the influence of religiosity in therapeutic services. Asceticism within religious doctrine coupled with Social Bonding Theory, suggests perhaps existential and secular bonds may be a desistence mechanism or a mitigating factor against crimes like sexual abuse that violate religious or spiritual norms. Nevertheless, research has yet to integrate these concepts and test them among a sample of youth who commit sexual crimes. Objective: The present study proposes three hypotheses that use Ascetical and Social Bonding Theory as guiding theoretical frameworks to test the association between religiosity and criminal profiles and the associations between therapeutic alliance and self-reported religious importance. Method: The cross-sectional study draws from original data collected from 332 incarcerated youth adjudicated for a sexual crime. Using validated and researcher-composed instruments and including relevant covariates, we used spearman's rho correlations and multiple linear regression to test the relationships between criminal profiles, therapeutic alliance, and religiosity. Results: The results indicated that the reported importance of religion prior to arrest is inversely associated with non-sexual criminality, but is not related to severity of sexual offense. Further, there were significant increases in pre-arrest and post-arrest religious importance. The therapeutic alliance predicted post-arrest religious importance. Implications for research and clinical practice are discussed. Conclusions: This study showcases the relationships between religious importance and general delinquent offending and how the therapeutic alliance is associated with religious importance. The findings align with tenants of Social Bonding Theory. These findings have implications for advancing research on religiosity and improving practice approaches for youth with sexual behavior problems.
Descriptors: Rape, Crime, Sexual Abuse, Correlation, Validity, Institutionalized Persons, Religious Factors, Delinquency, Spiritual Development, Counselor Client Relationship, Therapy, Social Theories, Behavior Standards, Moral Values, Profiles, Case Studies, Multiple Regression Analysis, Religion, Behavior Problems, Youth, Law Enforcement
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
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