PhD ceremony: Ms. A.T. Harder, 16.15 uur, Doopsgezinde Kerk, Oude Boteringestraat 33, Groningen
Dissertation: The downside up? A study of factors associated with a successful course of treatment for adolescents in secure residential care
Promotor(s): prof.dr. E.J. Knorth
Faculty: Behavioural and Social Sciences
Secure residential youth care is a type of care in which young people aged 12 to 24 years receive care and treatment in a secured environment for 24 hours a day. This type of care seems to have become a kind of “last resort” for adolescents with often antisocial and oppositional behavior problems, whose problems could not be diminished by other types of care. Considering the seriousness of the adolescents’ problems, it is not surprising that secure residential care often has limited results. For example, within one year after departure from a judicial youth institution, 30 to 64% of the adolescents show delinquent behavior once again. Despite this knowledge concerning outcomes, secure residential care can be perceived as a “black box” since information about its content and quality is scarce.
The aim of this thesis is to examine the underlying factors that are associated with a successful course of treatment for adolescents who are placed in secure residential care. Better insight in success factors is essential for attaining adequate treatment. This thesis assesses both risk factors for these adolescents, which are events or conditions that are associated with an increased probability of (serious) delinquent behavior, and treatment ingredients that are considered important for achieving positive outcomes. The results show that motivating adolescents for treatment and developing positive adolescent-staff relationships are important for success. The thesis indicates that both characteristics of the adolescents and the care process are essential starting points for improving the outcomes of secure residential youth care.
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