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.