Variables Associated with Improvement
Although many studies have attempted to identify those client variables or program variables that predict treatment success, recent reviews have concluded that there is little or no evidence for general predictors across programs and target populations (Edwards et al., 1988; Miller & Hester, 1986). However, as discussed by Edwards et al. (1988), there are several potential benefits of studying predictors of treatment outcome. These include: identifying who can and cannot benefit from a particular program, matching types of clients to types of programs, and identifying predictors in order to address theoretical questions. In the present context, the analyses of predictors of successful outcomes are exploratory, attempting to generate hypotheses concerning the characteristics of clients who seemed to benefit from the COPA approach. These analyses are intended to raise questions, not answer them. For example, if the data showed that more females than males improved following treatment at COPA, this finding might lead to a number of questions to guide future research such as: Are older females more responsive than older males to treatment generally? Were the COPA workers providing different, more successful treatment for females? And, do women referred to COPA exhibit a better prognosis at intake?