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Effectiveness of Youth Crisis Residential Programs Essay

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Nearly 20% of adolescents in the U.S. are diagnosed with mental illness each year, 10% including a serious emotional or behavioral disorder (Preyde et al., 2011). With the prevalence and severity of adolescent mental illness on the rise, it is worth devoting close scrutiny to the efficacy of different programs available to treat these youth. One type of program in need of review is the short-term, youth crisis residential program (CRP), which boasts a relatively high success rate. This paper will explore the different elements that collectively make CRPs successful for youth with mental illness, comparing and contrasting the current literature with qualitative findings from my field study. Common elements included a structured environment, family-focused approach, cooperation, and a positive focus. Implications of these findings are discussed in terms of generalizing to other treatment programs and areas in need of future research and support from the academic community.
Methods
Setting
Fieldwork was conducted primarily at the CSP Youth Shelter in Laguna Beach, California. Additionally, fieldwork was conducted while accompanying shelter residents on outings to parks, recreation centers, community workshops, and similar events.
Procedures
Data were collected qualitatively in the form of extensive fieldnotes, over the course of 10 weeks. The data were then coded and analyzed to determine the primary elements crucial to the success of CRPs.
Population
Throughout the course of my 10-week study, I observed approximately 20 youths aged 13-17. In order to be admitted to the shelter, youths must be “in crisis,” characterized by “behaviors or a history indicative of SED [serious emotional disturbance], experiencing signif...


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.... Journal Of Child & Family Studies, 20(5), 660-668. doi:10.1007/s10826-010-9442-z
Robst, J., Armstrong, M., Dollard, N., Rohrer, L., Sharrock, P., Batsche, C., & Reader, S. (2013). Characteristics related to family involvement in youth residential mental health treatment. Children & Youth Services Review, 35(1), 40-46. doi:10.1016/j.childyouth.2012.10.004
Siskind, D., Harris, M., Kisely, S., Brogan, J., Pirkis, J., Crompton, D., & Whiteford, H. (2013). A retrospective quasi-experimental study of a community crisis house for patients with severe and persistent mental illness. Australian & New Zealand Journal Of Psychiatry, 47(7), 667-675. doi:10.1177/0004867413484369
Souverein, F. A., Van der Helm, G. P., & Stams, G. M. (2013). ‘Nothing works’ in secure residential youth care?. Children & Youth Services Review, 35(12), 1941-1945. doi:10.1016/j.childyouth.2013.09.010



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