Research Links2021-07-24T16:59:42-07:00

Research Links

Seclusion and Restraints

  • How Solitary Confinement Hurts the Teenage Brain –  Solitary confinement involves isolating inmates in cells that are barely larger than a king-sized bed for 22 to 24 hours per day. It wreaks profound neurological and psychological damage, causing depression, hallucinations, panic attacks, cognitive deficits, obsessive thinking, paranoia, anxiety, and anger.
  • Learning from tragedy: A survey of child and adolescent restraint fatalities – This descriptive study examines 45 child and adolescent fatalities related to restraints in residential (institutional) placements in the United States from 1993 to 2003. The study team used common Internet search engines as its primary case discovery strategy to determine the frequency and the nature of the fatalities.
  • Restraint and Seclusion: Resource Document – As many reports have documented, the use of restraint and seclusion can have very serious consequences, including, most tragically, death. Furthermore, there continues to be no evidence that using restraint or seclusion is effective in reducing the occurrence of the problem behaviors that frequently precipitate the use of such techniques.
  • Roadmap to Seclusion and Restraint Free Mental Health Services – The goal of this curriculum is to provide direct care staff the tools and knowledge needed to improve their skills in preventing and ultimately eliminating the use of seclusion and restraint. “Direct care staff” refers to individuals who work directly with consumers, such as nurses, psychiatric technicians, therapists, psychologists, and many others.
  • School Is Not Supposed to Hurt – Many schools are regularly using restraint and seclusion to control student behavior. Students are suffering, especially very young students. Congress has failed to act. Some states enacted laws and regulations to protect school children, but the progress is slow and the laws are often inconsistent and incomplete.
  • Seclusion and Restraint Policy and Practice: Are we doing the right thing? – The overall purpose of this research study was to gain an understanding of the significance of the policy and practice of seclusion and restraint interventions used with individuals in the public school system in the United States and to determine how the policy and practice of those interventions are currently being implemented in schools across the United States.
  • Stop Solitary – Litigation – Expert Report of Stuart Grassian regarding solitary confinement issues facing juveniles in the Ron Jackson State Juvenile Correctional Complex in Texas

Residential Treatment and Wilderness

  • “Point and level systems”: Another way to fail children and youth – On the premise that the pervasive use of point and level systems in group care programs can be counter to therapeutic and developmental goals for children and youth, this article describes the specific nature of these practices, provides an analysis of their effects, and suggests constructive alternatives.
  • Abuse and Neglect in U.S.A. Residential Treatment Centers – This is a preliminary report on the abuse and neglect of persons in residential treatment for “substance abuse” in the U.S.A. There have been violations of human rights, lack of investigation, prosecution, and punishment of the offenders.
  • Adolescent drug abuse treatment works better with family – Including parents in interventions for adolescent substance abusers may be the best way to prevent them from relapsing after treatment, according to research results presented at APA’s 2003 Annual Convention and slated to be published this year in Drug and Alcohol Dependence.
  • American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry: ODD – Experts agree that therapies given in a one-time or short-lived fashion, such as boot camps, tough-love camps, or scare tactics, are not effective for children and adolescents with ODD. These approaches may do more harm than good. Trying to scare or forcibly coerce children and adolescents into behaving may only reinforce aggressive behavior.
  • Children in residential treatment: A follow-up study – Examined outcomes and service utilization among a total population of children discharged to their families from a residential treatment center (RTC) during a 3-year period. Consistent with the view that RTC treatment is frequently associated with continuing placement and dependency, the risk of replacement was 32%, 53%, and 59% by the end of the first, second, and third post discharge years, respectively.
  • Eliminating Level Systems in Residential Treatment Centers – TNOYS negotiated with a local RTC to interview youth who had recently eliminated the level system on their cottage. TNOYS met with a group of five residents and asked them about the impact of eliminating the level system; how it was better, what was different, and what they would want other programs who were considering doing this to know.
  • Escorting: The Impact of Kidnapping, Shooting and Torture on Children –  Trauma, in general, and coercive trauma specifically, impacts children differently than adults. Children do not have the psychological mechanisms in place to understand and integrate the trauma experience. Being less mature, a child is more likely to be overwhelmed by the experience.
  • Hospital Patient Behavior: Reactance, Helplessness, or Control? – A review of these patterns suggests that some “good patients” may actually be in a state of anxious or depressed helplessness, whereas “bad patients” are exhibiting anger and reactance against the perceived arbitrary removal of freedoms. 
  • Karen VanderVen’s Updated 2016 Pack – A documented analysis of the literature on the destructiveness of “Point and Level Systems” commonly employed in group and residential settings, and schools
  • Milieu Therapy: A Therapeutic Loophole – Milieu therapy has significant deficiencies as a practice theory for inpatient psychiatric nursing. First, it lacks sound conceptual definition. Second, there is no consensus in the scientific community as to the essential dimensions of the construct. Third, none of the interpretations of milieu therapy has been operationally elaborated with protocols, procedures, or outcomes.
  • Protecting Youth Placed in Unregulated Residential “Treatment” Facilities – Depending on the state, failure to provide state oversight of residential programs for minors may occur because these programs (1) do not accept public funds; (2) are affiliated with religious organizations; or (3) describe themselves (inappropriately) as outdoor programs, boarding schools, or other types of nontreatment programs. 
  • Review of the evidence base for treatment of childhood psychopathology – This article reviews controlled research on treatments for childhood externalizing behavior disorders. The review is organized around 2 subsets of such disorders: disruptive behavior disorders (i.e., conduct disorder, oppositional defiant disorder) and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
  • Survey of Youth in Residential Placement: Conditions of Confinement – This report presents findings from the Survey of Youth in Residential Placement about the conditions of confinement for youth in a range of different facilities and programs. Results focus on the structural and operational characteristics of these environments and indicate how youth offenders are distributed across various programs and facilities of different size and complexity.
  • The Risk of Harm to Young Children in Institutional Care Young children are frequently placed in institutional care throughout the world. This occurs despite wide recognition that institutional care is associated with negative consequences for children’s development (Carter, 2005; Johnson, Browne and Hamilton-Giachritsis, 2006).
  • The Troubled Teen Industry: Commodifying Disability and Capitalizing on Fear – The “Troubled Teen” behavior reform industry is comprised of financially interconnected wilderness programs, residential treatment centers, and reform schools that incarcerate thousands of minors each year by marketing a supposed cure to nonnormativity, and monetizing the discrimination and abuse of children.
  • Vulnerable citizens: The oppression of children in care – This paper frames children in out-of-home care as a singularly oppressed group. Children as citizens are considered in terms of their rights, evolving capacities, best interests, and voice. Using recognized criteria determining oppression, the situation of youth in care as an associative group is contrasted with that of children in general, as an aggregate group.

Juvenile Justice

  • How to Turn Around Troubled Teens – In a 2010 review of 69 controlled studies, criminologists revealed that such programs produced little or no overall improvement in offender recidivism.
  • Orphanages, Training Schools, Reform Schools and Now This? – While juvenile incarceration rates have been reduced since that time, many serious problems continue to plague youth programming – such as inhumane conditions in facilities, youth treated as and intermingled with adult prisoners, and physical and sexual abuse.
  • Prison Policy Initiative – On this page, the Prison Policy Initiative has curated all of the research about youth in the criminal justice system that we know of.
  • The Comparative Costs and Benefits to Reduce Crime – This review of the ten existing evaluations of juvenile boot camps indicated that, relative to comparison groups, juvenile offenders in these programs had higher, not lower, subsequent recidivism rates.

Attack and Aversion Therapy

Boarding School Syndrome

  • Boarding school: the trauma of the ‘privileged’ child – Sending young children to boarding school may be considered a particularly British form of child abuse and social control. The trauma of the rupture with home may be followed by other ordeals such as emotional deprivation and, in extreme cases, physical and sexual abuse.

Corporal Punishment

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