Deficits in behavioral inhibition predict treatment engagement in prison inmates

Diana Fishbein, Monica Sheppard, Christopher Hyde, Robert Hubal, David Newlin, Ralph Serin, George Chrousos, Salvatore Alesci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Many inmates do not respond favorably to standard treatments routinely offered in prison. Executive cognitive functioning and emotional regulation may play a key role in treatment responsivity. During intake into treatment, inmates (N = 224) were evaluated for executive functioning, emotional perception, stress reactivity (salivary cortisol), IQ, psychological and behavioral traits, prior drug use, child and family background, and criminal histories and institutional behavior. Outcome measures included program completion, treatment readiness, responsivity and gain, and the Novaco Reaction to Provocation Questionnaire. Relative deficits in behavioral inhibition significantly predicted treatment outcomes, more so than background, psychological, or behavioral variables, and other neurocognitive and emotional regulatory measures. Future replications of these results have potential to improve assessment and treatment of offenders who are otherwise intractable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)419-435
Number of pages17
JournalLaw and human behavior
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • General Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Law


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