Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)


Graduate Department of Clinical Psychology


A literature review in child residential treatment and juvenile corrections snows group homes have increased as less restrictive methods for treating delinquents are sought. Controversy exists over whether the increased use of community-based group-home treatment has actually resulted in less restrictive treatment. Some data indicates that children themselves do not view out-of-home residential treatment environments as supportive places in which to live. Rapid staff turnover has been identified as a problem in group-home care. Treatment evaluation studies can be viewed as falling into four types: descriptive studies, outcome studies, process evaluators, and systems analysis. The outcome studies conducted to date have yielded generally discouraging results regarding long-term treatment effects among juvenile delinquents. The Teaching-Family model has generated significant research supporting a behavior-based approach to altering specified behaviors. Much of the research associated with this model has sprung from Achievement Place, a pilot project which was used to develop the Teaching-Family model. Research findings suggest Teaching-Family youths compare favorably on process measures with youths treated in other group homes, but show little or no difference on long-term outcome measures. Lack of agreement among researchers in choice of evaluation measures hinders meaningful outcome comparisons among group-home treatment approaches. Other problems facing researchers include the lack of consensus in defining treatment "success" and in choosing appropriate process and outcome measurements. In order co promote broader participation in group-home research and allow meaningful comparisons of treatment effects among varying treatment approaches, specific measures are proposed which include a variety of descriptive variables, measures of academic and vocational adaptation, and measures of delinquency. Three objective evaluation instruments are also proposed: The Jesness Inventory, the Woodcock-Johnson Psycho-Educational Battery, Part Two, and the Consumer Evaluation. Christian approaches to group-home treatment offer a unique perspective based on biblical principles and a tradition of education and supportive family structures. Research is encouraged to allow comparisons of Christian approaches to group-home treatment with secular approaches.

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