The role of motivation in relation to youth symptoms and psychotherapy outcomes is not well understood. Some cross-sectional research suggests that motivation predicts youth treatment outcome in low-motivation populations. The purpose of this study was to examine patterns of change in youth motivation over the course of treatment and to elucidate the relation between motivation, youth symptoms, and psychotherapy outcomes in a routine community mental health setting. Participants and their caregivers were from three community mental health outpatient clinics and completed youth or parent forms of the Youth Outcome Questionnaire (Y-OQ) and Treatment Support Measure (TSM) at frequent intervals throughout treatment. Data were collected over a period of about 2 years. On average, youth motivation significantly increased over the course of therapy according to self- (p < .001) and parent-report (p < .001). This change followed a square root function better than linear and quadratic models. Initial motivation was not predictive of overall change in symptoms or rate of change at the p <.05 level after accounting for initial levels of youth symptoms. Individual rates of change for youth motivation varied significantly over the course of treatment (p < .001), which might suggest unique trajectories of motivation for different subsets of youth based on presenting concerns or other variables.
College and Department
Family, Home, and Social Sciences; Psychology
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Merrill, Brett M., "Youth Motivation as a Predictor of Treatment Outcomes in a Community Mental Health System" (2014). Theses and Dissertations. 4187.
psychotherapy, psychotherapy research, adolescent, youth, motivation, outcome