Predictors of Attrition from Residential Treatment for Youth with Addictive Behaviors

Journal of Child & Adolescent Substance Abuse - March 2019

Predictors of Attrition from Residential Treatment for Youth with Addictive Behaviors by Dr. Amanda Uliaszek, University of Toronto; Nadia Al-Dajani, M.A., University of Toronto and Dr. Laura Mills, Director of Research & Evaluation, Pine River Institute

The present study sought to examine predictors of attrition from residential treatment for adolescents with addictive behaviors. Using data from 137 adolescents and their families, latent variable models were constructed to examine three child/adolescent factors and three parenting factors as predictors of attrition. Findings indicated that emotional/social difficulties and parental involvement in treatment, as well as their interaction, had a direct effect on attrition. In addition, parenting in adolescence interacted with both substance/behavioral problems and early caregiver discipline to predict attrition. This study provided insight into the exacerbating effects of neglectful or absent parenting practices in the successful completion of adolescent substance use treatment.

Youths’ Perspectives on Their Relational Identity Development through Residential Treatment

Journal of Therapeutic Schools and Programs - February 2019

Youths’ Perspectives on Their Relational Identity Development through Residential Treatment by Julia K. Riddell, York University; Dr. Debra J. Pepler, York University; Dr. Victoria Creighton, Pine River Institute.

The goal of this study was to examine youths’ narratives of their identity development during a residential, wilderness, and family therapy program. A semistructured interview was conducted, and thematic analysis was used. Youth described their identity in terms of who they learned to be in their relationships, which included being authentic, vulnerable, accepting of themselves and others, empathetic, and honest. They discussed a number of program elements that influenced their identity development, all of which involved relationships with staff, therapists, and other students. Results of this study have implications for staff training, program development, and program evaluation.

The Call for an Integrated Family Systems Model

Journal of Therapeutic Schools and Programs - February 2019

The Call for an Integrated Family Systems Model by Liz van Ryn, Family Program Director and Dr. Victoria Creighton, Clinical Director, both at Pine River Institute.

Providing transformative family therapy within a therapeutic treatment program is difficult to do. Pine River Institute attempted to meet this challenge by integrating a family systems model throughout their treatment program. The family systems model is largely informed by Satir Family Therapy, given the focus on strengths, personal responsibility, and experiential nature. Three significant programs changes were needed in order to ensure the success of the integration of the family system model: shifting treatment philosophy and culture within the organization, adopting a family therapy model, and training and self-development work for all staff. Program objectives and descriptions were offered, as well as preliminary findings (from both parent narratives and from the research and program evaluation department) on program efficacy.

Better Relationships, Mental Wellness, and Self-Development: What Parents Expect from Residential Treatment for Their Struggling Youth

Journal of Therapeutic Schools and Programs - March 2018

Better Relationships, Mental Wellness, and Self-Development: What Parents Expect from Residential Treatment for Their Struggling Youth by Julia K. Riddell, York University; Marissa E. Barnes, York University; Dr. Laura Mills, Pine River Institute; Dr. Victoria Creighton, Pine River Institute; Dr. Debra J. Pepler, York University.

Parents often initiate treatment for their youth with substance use or mental health issues. For this reason, parental expectations of treatment are helpful in considering the nature of parental engagement in the treatment process and possible barriers to treatment. The goal of this study was to better understand the expectations of parents who sought residential treatment for their youth. From 638 potential parent applications, 28 individual applications were randomly selected for in-depth qualitative analysis. The most frequently expressed expectation was for youth to have better relationships with their family and with peers. Implications for treatment program design, effectiveness, and evaluation are discussed.