Journal of Child and Family Studies

, Volume 13, Issue 4, pp 497–510 | Cite as

Characteristics of Children and Adolescents Admitted to a Residential Treatment Center

  • Daniel F. ConnorEmail author
  • Leonard A. Doerfler
  • Peter F. ToscanoJr.
  • Adam M. Volungis
  • Ronald J. Steingard


Studies of youths in residential treatment that utilize systematic assessments and validated measures are rare. We examined psychopathology, family characteristics, occurrence of physical or sexual abuse, types of aggressive behavior, hyperactive/impulsive behavior, medical and neurological problems, and self-reported drug and alcohol use in 397 youth who were assessed using reliable measures and consecutively treated in a residential treatment center. Results indicate high rates of internalizing and externalizing psychopathology, aggressive behavior, and consistent gender differences, with girls having higher levels of internalizing and externalizing psychopathology and aggressive behavior. The sample was characterized by high rates of medical problems including asthma, seizures, and obesity, as well as evidence of extensive family dysfunction, including high rates of parental alcohol use, violence, and physical or sexual abuse. Residential treatment needs to progress beyond the one size fits all approach and develop more specific and empirically proven treatments for the specific needs of this population.

residential treatment children adolescents psychopathology 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel F. Connor
    • 1
    Email author
  • Leonard A. Doerfler
    • 2
    • 3
  • Peter F. ToscanoJr.
    • 4
    • 3
  • Adam M. Volungis
    • 5
  • Ronald J. Steingard
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry, Division of Child and Adolescent PsychiatryUniversity of Massachusetts Medical SchoolWorcester
  2. 2.Assumption CollegeWorcester
  3. 3.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of Massachusetts Medical SchoolWorcester
  4. 4.Assumption CollegeWorcester
  5. 5.Assumption CollegeWorcester

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