The efficacy of aggression replacement training with juvenile delinquents

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Arnold P. Goldstein


Brief Instructions Control condition, No Treatment Control condition.

Subject Categories

Clinical Psychology


An evaluation of the efficacy of a multimodal treatment package called Aggression Replacement Training for enhancing the prosocial skill, self-control and moral reasoning competency, and for reducing the aggressive behavior of juvenile delinquents was conducted. Thirty-six subjects participated in either an Aggression Replacement Training, a Brief Instructions Control or a No Treatment Control condition. Comparisons were made between the three experimental conditions on a Direct Situations, Minimal Generalization Situations and Extended Generalization Situations Test of prosocial skill competency. Additional comparisons were made between the Aggression Replacement Training and No Treatment Control condition on the Sociomoral Reflection Measure, the Self-Control Rating Scale and the Behavior Incident Report.

As hypothesized, Aggression Replacement Training yielded significantly greater prosocial skill acquisition than the Brief Instructions and/or the No Treatment control groups on 5 of the 10 skills taught. Aggression Replacement Training also lead to significantly greater minimal and/or extended generalization effects than the Brief Instructions and/or No Treatment control groups on 3 of the 10 prosocial skills taught. Training subjects were also found to demonstrate significantly greater reductions in aggression as compared to the No Treatment control group. While significant between group differences were not obtained on the moral reasoning or self-control measures, Aggression Replacement Training was found to produce significant pre to post-test gains on the latter variable. These results are discussed in terms of subject characteristics, skill complexity and relevance, and measurement, design, statistical and training protocol limitations. The clinical relevance of these results are also addressed. Finally, suggestions for future research are stipulated.