Journal of Child and Family Studies

, Volume 11, Issue 4, pp 401–410 | Cite as

Profile Characteristics and Behavioral Change Trajectories of Young Residential Children

  • David L. HusseyEmail author
  • Shenyang Guo


We aimed to identify profile characteristics for a recent sample of young residential children, examine the differential impact that profile characteristics have on behavior change, and describe the relationship between behavioral symptomatology and length of stay in residential treatment. A sample of 142 consecutively admitted residential treatment children were studied over a five-year period. Hierarchical Linear Modeling was the primary statistical method used to analyze behavioral rating data for a subset of 57 children assessed by teachers and treatment staff using the Devereux Scales of Mental Disorders. Younger age, female gender, and lower IQ were associated with increased levels of psychopathology. Residential length of stay was strongly linked to levels of behavioral symptomatology. HLM is a valuable analytic strategy that employs client profile characteristics to model behavioral change trajectories and help predict treatment responsiveness. System reform philosophies that promote expectations for rapid symptom improvement and removal of residential treatment from the continuum of care may exceed current treatment capacities.

residential treatment abuse trajectories gender differences behavioral change 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Asarnow, J.R., Aoki, W., & Elson, S. (1996). Children in residential treatment: A follow-up study. Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, 25, 209–214.Google Scholar
  2. Bryk, A.S., & Raudenbush, S.W. (1992). Hierarchical linear models: Applications and data analysis methods. Newbury Pak, CA: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  3. Burns, B.J., & Friedman, R.M. (1990). Examining the research base for child mental health services and policy. The Journal of Mental Health Administration, 17, 87–98.Google Scholar
  4. Cohen, P. (1996) Childhood risks for young adult symptoms of personality disorder: Method and substance. Multivariate Behavioral Research, 31, 121–148.Google Scholar
  5. Corrigan, J. M., & Martin, J. B. (1992). Identification of factors associated with hospital readmission and development of a predictive model. Health Services Research, 27, 81–101.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Courtney, M. (1994). Factors associated with entrance into group care. In R.P. Barth, J.D. Berrick, & N. Gilbert (Eds.), Child welfare research review, Vol. 1 (pp. 185–204). New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  7. Curry, J.F. (1991). Outcome research on residential treatment: Implications and suggested directions. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 61, 348–357.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Farmer, E.M.Z. (2000). Issues confronting effective services in systems of care. Children and Youth Services Review, 22, 627–650.Google Scholar
  9. Guo, S., Hussey, D. (1999). Analyzing longitudinal rating data: A three-level hierarchical linear model.Social Work Research, 23, 209–272.Google Scholar
  10. Hoagwood, K., & Cunningham, M. (1992). Outcomes of children with emotional disturbance in residential treatment for educational purposes. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 1, 129–140.Google Scholar
  11. Howard, K.I., Kopta, M., Krause, M.S. & Orlinsky, D.E. (1986). The dose-effect relationship in psychotherapy. American Psychologist, 41, 159–164.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Loeber, R. (1982). The stability of antisocial and delinquent child behavior: A review. Child Development, 53, 1431–1446.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Loeber, R. & Keenan, K. (1994). Interaction between conduct disorder and its comorbid conditions: Effects of age and gender. Clinical Psychology Review, 14, 497–523.Google Scholar
  14. Moffitt, T., Caspi, A., Dickson, N., Silva, P., and Stanton, W. (1996). Childhood-onset versus adolescentonset antisocial conduct problems in males: Natural history from ages 3 to 18 years. Developmental and Psychopathology, 8, 399–424.Google Scholar
  15. Naglieri, J., LeBuffe, P., & Pfeiffer, S.I. (1994).Devereux Scales of Mental Disorders. The Psychological Corporation, TX: San Antonio.Google Scholar
  16. Pfeiffer, S.I., & Strzelecki, S. (1990). Inpatient psychiatric treatment of children and adolescents: A review of outcome studies. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 29, 847–853.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Pottick, K., Hansell, S., Gutterman, E., & Raskin-White, H. (1995). Factors associated with inpatient and outpatient treatment for children and adolescents with serious mental illness. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 34, 425–433.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2001, April). The AFCARS Report, Administration for Children and Families, Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Children's Bureau, Scholar

Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Justice StudiesKent State UniversityKent
  2. 2.Director of Research and EvaluationCleveland
  3. 3.School of Social WorkUniversity of North Carolina atChapel Hill

Personalised recommendations