Motivation to change as a predictor of treatment outcome for adolescent substance abusers

Mary E. Cady, Ken C. Winters, Danielle A. Jordan, Kenneth B. Solberg, Randy D. Stinchfield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


The Problem Recognition Questionnaire (PRQ), a 24-item measure of adolescent motivation for drug use change and readiness for treatment, was examined with respect to its reliability, factor structure, and predictive validity. The PRQ was administered at intake to 234 adolescents admitted for residential or nonresidential chemical dependency treatment. The PRQ showed a high level of internal consistency (alpha =.91). Three factors were derived and interpreted as representative of the stages of change proposed by Prochaska, DiClemente, and Norcross (1992). Outcome was mea-sured at discharge and 6-month follow-up. High scores on the PRQ (representing a higher level of motivation/readiness) were predictive of some posttreatment variables (change in drug use and abstinence), but not the discharge variables. These results indicate that the PRQ has acceptable reliability and some potential as a prognostic indica-tor for adolescent drug abuse treatment outcome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)73-91
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Child and Adolescent Substance Abuse
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 25 1996
Externally publishedYes


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