The possibilities of motivational interviewing for supporting disaffected children and young people

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

    97 Downloads (Pure)


    Motivational Interviewing (MI), a therapeutic approach developed with addiction and healthcare settings, is based on the premise that clients are often ‘ambivalent’ about changing behaviour and not necessarily ready for change. MI may be particularly useful in school psychologists’ work with young people, where the impetus for change typically comes from a third person, such as a teacher or parent, rather from young people themselves. Recently there has been growing interest in the use of MI in educational settings in relation to academic achievement, career development, coaching and programme implementation, as well as individual pupil support. This presentation details findings of two exploratory studies looking at the usefulness of MI in supporting disaffected children and young people. The first involves case study research which describes how MI was used in school psychologist casework with primary-aged children, detailing use of an MI-based intervention with pupils aged 9-10. Adaptation of the intervention will be explored, as will be the adherence of the sessions to the underlying spirit and principles of MI. The presentation will explore the types of information elicited by using an MI-based intervention and its potential role in assessment, before moving on to discussing client outcomes.The second study looks at the effectiveness of the MI intervention delivered by paraprofessionals to pupils aged 11-16 following brief training on the spirit and principles of MI and using the intervention, delivered by a school psychologist. Pre and post measures of school-based motivation were taken; and a focus group explored the views of the paraprofessionals about using the intervention and its effectiveness in supporting the young people to explore and promote behaviour change. Implications of both studies are discussed. These include defining MI within school-based settings; selection of pupils; training; measuring motivation and adherence to MI.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationhost publication
    Publication statusPublished - 2015
    EventInternational School Psychology Association (ISPA) Conference - Universidade Presbiteriana Mackenzie, São Paulo
    Duration: 25 Jun 2015 → …


    ConferenceInternational School Psychology Association (ISPA) Conference
    CityUniversidade Presbiteriana Mackenzie, São Paulo
    Period25/06/15 → …


    • motivational interviewing, therapeutic intervention, disaffection.


    Dive into the research topics of 'The possibilities of motivational interviewing for supporting disaffected children and young people'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this