Profile Characteristics and Behavioral Change Trajectories of Young Residential Children
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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.
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