UMMS Affiliation

Department of Psychiatry; Implementation Science and Practice Advances Research Center

Publication Date


Document Type

Article Postprint


Mental and Social Health | Military, War, and Peace | Psychiatry | Psychiatry and Psychology


This study assessed perceptions of voluntary consent among 69 veterans who enrolled in a "jail diversion" program for co-occurring disorders. Perceptions were measured using modified items from the MacArthur Perceived Coercion and Negative Pressure Scales. A majority reported that they "chose to" (88.4%) or "felt free to" (85.5%) enroll. Most reported having "control over" (69.6%) and "more influence than anyone else" regarding (60.9%) their participation. About half reported that enrollment was "their idea" (49.3%). Fewer reported perceptions of negative pressure, including the feeling that someone "talked them into" enrolling (24.6%), "threatened them with the maximum criminal punishment" (13.0%), "offered or promised them something" (5.8%), or "forced" them to enroll (5.8%). Nobody felt "tricked, lied to, or fooled into" participating. Total negative pressure scores were higher in those with combat experience, U = 406.50, p = .016. Although potentially inappropriate pressures were reported, these data suggest that the majority perceived enrollment as voluntary.

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Authors' accepted peer-reviewed manuscript posted after 12 months as allowed by the publisher's author rights policy at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions.

DOI of Published Version



Behav Sci Law. 2017 Sep;35(5-6):408-417. doi: 10.1002/bsl.2299. Epub 2017 Aug 1. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Behavioral sciences and the law

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID