Purpose – Positive professional attitudes towards personality‐disordered clients have been linked with extensive clinical and strategic benefits. The largest influences upon such attitudes are associated with staff training, supervision and support. This preliminary evaluation seeks to consider the effect of an introductory personality disorder awareness workshop upon trainees' attitudes towards personality disordered prisoners. Design/methodology/approach – The attitude towards personality disorder questionnaire (APDQ) was administered to prison staff (predominantly prison officers) immediately before the workshop and then re‐tested, on average, two months later. Findings – The study sample ( n =26) showed significant improvements on the “security versus vulnerability” APDQ sub‐scale. The remaining four sub‐scales and overall APDQ scores showed no significant change. Practical implications – The findings indicate that personality disorder awareness training should initially engage with trainees' perceptions of their personal security and vulnerability when working with this client group, rather than aiming to increase liking, enjoyment and acceptance of such offenders. Originality/value – This study marks a preliminary analysis of a new personality disorder awareness training programme.
The British Journal of Forensic Practice – Emerald Publishing
Published: Nov 16, 2011
Keywords: APDQ; Personality disorder; Attitudes; Training; Prisons
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