Inner Speech Modification and Young Offender Re-offence: Literature Review and Implications


  • Jessica Elsom



self-talk, inner speech, young offenders, juvenile delinquents self-talk modification, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy


Inner speech is the voice in our heads that serves a variety of functions, and impacts individuals’ thoughts and behaviours. It is thought that young offenders have misguiding inner voices, and there is hope that professionals can change this through inner speech modification. During treatment, practitioners attempt to teach young offenders to use skills and tools. Ideally, this will reduce recidivism rates and allow these youth to become contributing members of society. In this literature review, the relationship between inner speech and young offender reoffence is examined. The purpose of this research is to bridge literature on inner speech, cognitive behavioural therapy, and young offender research to provide a source of suggestions for reducing delinquent behaviours. I advocate for inner speech modification programs in young offender rehabilitation because the research presented in this review supports the use of inner
speech in behaviour modification. I argue that the programs designed for young offenders need continued flexibility, and that there needs to be an increase in program availability for young offenders, especially ones involving inner speech modification. I also suggest that researchers should examine more preventative, earlier intervention programs, and investigate the relationships between inner speech and language deficiencies in young offenders.


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