The influence of personal characteristics on drop out from therapy
The influence of certain personality characteristics (i.e., hostility, anxiety, satisfaction with life, and self-esteem) on drop out from therapy was examined. Participants of this study consisted of individuals who sought services from the Iowa State University Marriage and Family Therapy Clinic for individual, couples, or family therapy. A total of 501 individuals began therapy in the years between 2000 and 2004; of these, 91 were reported by the respective therapists to be drop outs. Prior to the initial therapy session, all clients signed release forms indicating their assessment materials may be used for future research. Data from the Brief Symptom Inventory, Satisfaction with Life Scale, and Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale were examined, and hypotheses were tested using chi-square tests for independence and discriminant analyses. Although the previously mentioned personality characteristics were found to have no association with likelihood to drop out from therapy, several demographic variables were found to have a statistically significant association (i.e., modality of treatment, marital status, occupation, income, and previous therapy experience.) These findings indicate that regardless of a client's disposition at the onset of therapy, he or she is not more likely to drop out of treatment based on these characteristics alone.