Date of Award

1989

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

School

School of Education

Program

Counseling Psychology, Ph.D.

First Advisor

Robert J. Cruise

Second Advisor

Thesba N. Johnston

Third Advisor

Frederick A. Kosinski, Jr.

Abstract

Problem. Little information exists that clarifies what type of adolescent in need of out-of-home care is appropriate for open residential treatment. The purpose of this study was to identify variables that discriminate between those adolescents who complete and those who fail to complete an open residential treatment program.

Method. Information on 208 adolescents placed at the Family and Children's Center Residential Treatment Program was obtained on 36 independent variables. The variables covered demographic and family characteristics, behavior problems prior to placement, and academic/intellectual functioning. Descriptive statistics were cited; five groups of variables (models) were analyzed by discriminant analysis.

Results. All five models were statistically significant. Model 1 (demographic, family, and behavior variables) obtained a chi-square of 58.514 (df = 11, p < .0001) and correctly classified 72.12% of the cases; 11 variables entered model 1. Those models that used the WISC-R Verbal and Performance IQ scores (Models 3 & 5) were more effective in classifying adolescents than those that used the WISC-R Full Scale IQ score (Models 2 & 4). Model 3 (demographic, family, and behavior variables, WRAT-R scores, WISC-R Verbal & Performance IQ scores) obtained a chi-square of 58.252 (df = 16, p < .0001) and correctly classified 76.64% of the cases; 16 variables entered model 3. Model 5 (demographic, family, and behavior variables, WRAT-R scores, WISC-R Verbal & Performance IQ scores, and WISC-R subtest scores) obtained a chi-square of 40.688 (df = 13, p < .0001) and correctly classified 80.77% of the cases; 13 variables entered model 5. Currently, only 51% of those adolescents placed at the Family and Children's Center were found to be successful graduates.

Conclusions. The findings of this study indicate that distinguishing characteristics can be identified that discriminate between those adolescents who are likely to complete a given residential treatment program and those who are unlikely to complete the same program. Recommendations for residential treatment staff, placing agencies, juvenile judiciary staff, and future research are given.

Subject Area

Adolescent psychotherapy--Residential treatment.

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