RESIDENTIAL TREATMENT OF SERIOUSLY EMOTIONALLY DISTURBED LATENCY AGE CHILDREN AND THEIR SUBSEQUENT ADJUSTMENT: A FOLLOW-UP STUDY
The purpose of the study was to identify factors that predict what children have the greatest potential of benefiting from the type of residential treatment program offered by The Christ Child Institute for Children (The Center). The Center operates 365 days per year providing a psychoeducational environment for severely emotionally disturbed boys and girls ages 5-12. The subjects for the study were the 99 students who could be located from the 116 who had been discharged from the Center's residential program between January 1, 1970 and Jauary 1, 1980. The discharged population consisted of 27 black and 48 white males, along with 17 black and 24 white females. The age of the students upon admission ranged from 4.8 years to 11.1 years with a mean age of 7.9 years and a standard deviation of 1.6 years. The average length of stay was 2.2 years with a standard deviation of .9 years and a range of between .5 years and 4.11 years. An ex post facto design was employed using presenting psychopathology, mainstreaming, race and intelligence as independent variables and recidivism as the dependent variable. Information on the independent variables was collected from the permanent medical records at The Center. The data on recidivism was gathered by phone calls or personal contact with the discharged patient, their parents, or significant others. The chi-square statistic was utilized to analyze the data obtained. The .05 level was used to determine significant results. The mainstreaming variable was significantly related to recidivism (p<.05) while the other variables (presenting psychopathology, race, and intelligence) were not. The length of time between a student's discharge from The Center and the period during which the study was conducted was found to be independent of recidivism (p>.05) and, consequently, did not contaminate the results. It was recommended that The Center's staff examine their mainstreaming program with expansion in mind. A careful determination of what program modifications and additional supports would be necessary to enable more residential students to attend local public schools was suggested.