The Efficacy of the Growing Pro-social Program in Reducing Anger, Shame, and Paranoia over Time in Male Prison Inmates: A Randomized Controlled Trial [2018]

This randomized controlled trial aimed to assess the efficacy of a cognitive-behavioral group program, Growing Pro-Social (GPS), in reducing anger, shame, and paranoia over time in Portuguese male prison inmates.

Participants were randomized to the GPS treatment (n = 121) or control group (n = 133). The State-Trait Anger Expression Inventory, the Other as Shamer Scale, and the Paranoia Scale were completed at baseline, at the middle of treatment, at posttreatment, and at 12 months’ follow-up. Intervention effects were tested with latent growth curve models (LGCM).

At baseline, no significant differences between groups were found. Results from LGCM showed that condition was a significant predictor of change observed in all outcome measures over time. While treatment participants showed a significant increase in anger-control over time, controls presented a significant decrease over time in this same variable. For the remaining dimensions of anger, as well as for external shame and paranoia, while the treatment group showed a significant decrease over time, the control group showed a significant increase or no change.

These results pointed out the GPS’s ability to promote significant change in cognitive and emotional relevant variables associated with antisocial behavior.

Nélio Brazão, Daniel Rijo, Maria do Céu Salvador, José Pinto-Gouveia

Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, Vol 55, Issue 5, 2018