Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)


Graduate Department of Clinical Psychology


Working with troubled adolescents is a challenging and sometimes dangerous occupation. one of the means of control often employed in treatment settings with aggressive youth is seclusion and restraint. This intervention is intended as a means of helping the youth regain control while maintaining the safety of the therapeutic milieu for the other patients and staff members. Research implicates several demographic factors and personality styles which are observed with aggressive acting out in male adolescents. To examine the ability of these variables to predict the aggressive behavior warranting seclusion and restraint, archival data were collected from 186 former inpatient adolescent males (93 who were secluded and restrained, and 93 who were not secluded and restrained) from a private psychiatric hospital. The personality variables were measured by the MMPI. Post hoc findings suggest that the presence of an alcoholic parent figure and physical abuse in the home were demographic variables predictive of aggressive acting out behaviors while in treatment.. The Hysteria, Hypomania, and Schizophrenia scales from the MMPI were personality characteristics found most predictive of aggressive acting out behaviors warranting seclusion and restraint intervention. Combined, these two sets of variables were able to classify the patients into secluded and restrained and non-secluded and restrained groups with 66 percent accuracy. Statistically and practically this accuracy rate was considered an insignificant level for any practical use for the hospital staff. It was recommended that the staff of the hospital used for this study not employ the derived discriminant equation to identify potentially aggressive males due to its low ability to distinguish between the males requiring seclusion and restraint and those who would not need the intervention.

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