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An Intermediate Outcome Evaluation of the Thinking for a Change Program

The Thinking for a Change (TFAC) program "teaches problem-solving skills, particularly when interacting with others, in order to increase rational thinking and lead to pro-social interactions and behaviors. In addition, through cognitive restructuring (aka, cognitive self-change), thought processes are modified to reduce thinking patterns that are conducive to criminal behavior, i.e., antisocial attitudes. This evaluation uses a quasi-experimental, non-random, two group pre-test post-test design, and it explores intermediate outcomes that examine whether the program has influenced participant’s self-assessment of their social problem-solving skills and approaches and their acceptance of criminal attitudes ... compared to a waiting list comparison group, TFAC group completers do significantly better than their comparison group counterparts on every measure, including positive problem orientation, negative problem orientation, rational problem solving and associated subscales (problem definition and formulation, generation of alternative solutions, decision making, solution implementation and verification), impulsivity/carelessness style, and avoidance style. Moreover, the level of significance of these findings indicates that TFAC does impact participants’ understanding of social problem solving skills and approaches" (p. i). Sections following an executive summary include: introduction; cognitive-behavioral programming and the TFAC program; methodological design; Social Problem Solving Inventory-Revised (SPSI-R) analysis of changes in social problem-solving; Texas Christian University Criminal Thinking Scale (TCU-CTS) analysis; and discussion.