De programma-integriteit van de implementatie van de morele keuzebijeenkomsten van EQUIP: een observatieonderzoek
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EQUIP is a treatment program for young people with antisocial behavior problems. In the EQUIP program, such youths become motivated and equipped to help one another in groups. Research on the EQUIP program shows that this cognitive behavioral program is more effective in the United States than in the Netherlands. A possible explanation for the differences in effectiveness is a difference in program-integrity. The aim of this study is to examine the integrity of the implementation of EQUIP during the meetings of social decision making. An observation-instrument, two questionnaires and an evaluation list were constructed to measure program-integrity. A total of eight selectively chosen EQUIP meetings have been observed at three juvenile correctional facilities in the Netherlands: ‘Teylingereind’ (N=5), ‘De Sprengen’ (N=2) and ‘De Waag’ (N=1). Results show that 66.7% of the original implementation guidelines of Gibbs, Potter and Goldstein (1995) is found in the EQUIP handbook used by EQUIP trainers in the Netherlands. It appeared that on average 49.0 % of the original implementation guidelines were present per observed meeting with an average observer appraisal of 1.96 and an average trainer appraisal of 2.56 on a 3-point Likert scale. A relatively strong relationship was found between observer and trainer appraisal. These results show shortcomings in content and quality of the implementation. The multiple questionnaires measured other aspects of program-integrity, such as purpose and structure of the EQUIP program. The three facilities also show limitations in these other aspects. The lack of consistently providing the correct answer by the trainers attracted our attention most at the observed meetings, because it is essential to serve as a model for the youth. Methodological limitations of the present study are the small and select sample. Future research should take these limitations into account. Recommendations are given concerning the improvement of the implementation of EQUIP in the Netherlands. Follow-up studies should investigate more aspects of program integrity.