Source: (1997) Adolescence 32(127).

The influence of Victim Awareness Program (VAP) attendance on the sociomoral reasoning maturity of juvenile delinquents was investigated. Subjects were inmates (aged 14-18 years) of two youth secure-care centers in Adelaide, South Australia. The treatment group (n = 23) attended sessions at which victims of crime and/or representatives from agencies closely involved with victims spoke about crime from the victimsxe2x80x99 perspective. Participants were assessed using the Sociomoral Reflection Measure xe2x80x93 Short Form both before and after the program. Following the program, the treatment group recorded a significant increase in its mean Sociomoral Reflection Maturity score. No-treatment control subjects (n = 15) from the same centers failed to show any significant change at retest. Previous studies have found improvements in knowledge and attitudes toward victims following attendance at VAPs. Results here extend those findings to include positive change in sociomoral reasoning maturity xe2x80x93 a variable that is empirically known to be related to prosocial behavior among adolescents.

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