Journal of Behavioral Education

, Volume 10, Issue 4, pp 223–238 | Cite as

The Iatrogenic Effects of Group Intervention for Antisocial Youth: Premature Extrapolations?

  • Michael L. Handwerk
  • Clinton E. Field
  • Patrick C. Friman


Group intervention for antisocial youth has received harsh criticism in recent years. This paper reviews relevant research focused on the influence of contact with delinquent peers on the development of antisocial activity. Also reviewed are studies reporting outcomes of group intervention for antisocial youth. Although a few studies have found iatrogenic effects for group intervention with antisocial youth, the majority have not. Well-developed models of group intervention have produced substantial reductions in youth antisocial activity. We describe one such program, a family-style residential program based on behavioral learning principles, and review outcomes of this program. We conclude that treatment of antisocial youth in groups is feasible and can be effective in reducing delinquent behavior.

group therapy behavior problems juvenile delinquency social skills training residential treatment 


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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael L. Handwerk
    • 1
  • Clinton E. Field
    • 2
  • Patrick C. Friman
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Clinical Services & ResearchFather Flanagan's Boys' Home, Boys Town
  2. 2.Clinical Services & ResearchFather Flanagan's Boys' Home, Boys Town
  3. 3.National Research Institute for Child and Family Studies, Girls & Boys TownUSA
  4. 4.Clinical TrainingUniversity of NevadaReno

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