[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Group care workers in residential youth care are considered important in influencing behavioral development of children. In spite of this, their role has largely been neglected in research on residential care. The aim of the current study was twofold. First, longitudinal changes in group care worker interventions and child behaviors were investigated separately. Second, bidirectional influences between group care worker interventions and child behaviors were investigated. Group care workers completed the Group care worker Intervention Checklist and Child Behavior Checklist for128 children (66% boys, mean age 8.63 years) at the beginning of the treatment and at two measurement intervals that followed (6 and 12 months, respectively). Most results contradicted the predictions. There was no change in controlling and warm and supportive interventions by group care workers. Autonomy granting interventions increased during treatment. Second, there were no changes in externalizing and internalizing behaviors of children over time. Third, cross-lagged analyses revealed that higher levels of controlling interventions increased externalizing problems of children. In the opposite direction, higher levels of children's externalizing problems were associated with an increase in controlling interventions of group care workers. In addition, higher levels of children's internalizing problems were associated with lower subsequent levels of autonomy granting interventions. These significant longitudinal paths were found only for the first phase of treatment. This study emphasizes the potential of the role of group care workers in residential youth care. Residential institutions should be aware of the dynamics between group care workers and children. Training and ongoing supervision in effective responses to behavior problems can increase the effect of group care worker interventions on child behavioral changes.
Children and Youth Services Review 04/2014; · 1.27 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The work of group care workers in residential youth care is often described as professional parenting. Pedagogical interventions of group care workers influence the quality of care for looked-after children.The aim of the current study was to observe the pedagogical interventions of group care workers within residential youth care and their associations with child behaviors.Group care worker interventions and child behaviors were videotaped during structured observations. Participants included 95 children (64 % boys, M age = 9.19) and 53 group care workers (74 % female, M age = 33.79 years). A coding system was developed to code pedagogical interventions and child behaviors.It showed that group care workers mainly used positive pedagogical interventions (warmth/support and positive control) and seldom used negative pedagogical interventions (permissiveness and negative control). Frustration and anger of children was associated with positive controlling interventions and permissiveness of group care workers. The hypothesis that child anxiety and nervousness is associated with warm and supportive interventions could not be confirmed.Pedagogical interventions should be part of education, training, and supervision of group care workers.
Child and Youth Care Forum 01/2014; 43(2). · 1.25 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Emotional and behavioral problems assessed with the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) were analyzed from 2,739 Dutch children referred to Families First (FF) or Intensive Family Treatment (IFT) from 1999 to 2008, to examine time trends. From the year 2004 onward, six of the eight CBCL-syndrome scales yielded significant decreases from the reference year, 1999. Analyses of statistical interactions indicated that on some scales in later years, younger children and boys scored lower than in 1999, and children referred to FF showed more delinquent behaviors in later years compared with in 1999; whereas, children referred to IFT showed less delinquent behavior than in 1999. These results might be explained by structural changes in the Dutch youth care system, by a huge growth of the number of treated children, by an incident in Dutch youth care, and also by the introduction of new methods of home-based treatment for delinquent youth. An implication of the current results is to consider home-based services more seriously as an alternative for out-of-home placement.
Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders 09/2012; 20(3):184-192. · 1.28 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: In 2005 a new compulsory residential treatment program was developed for adolescents in need for protection against themselves or their environment. OBJECTIVE: The aim of the present study was to examine the association of structural treatment characteristics of this new residential treatment program (i.e., duration of treatment, discharge status, and group composition in terms of sex) with post-treatment functioning. Additionally, the number of pre-treatment risk factors was included in the model. METHOD: A total of 301 adolescents (174 boys, 127 girls), with a mean age at time of admittance of 15.50 (SD = 1.26) participated in this study. The number of risk factors was derived from treatment files of the adolescents at time of entrance. Six months after discharge, adolescents participated in a telephone interview to measure ten post-treatment variables indicating how well they were doing. RESULTS: The results showed that duration of treatment was related to post-treatment living situation, in that adolescents who were in treatment for shorter durations were more likely to live on their own after treatment. For discharge status, findings suggested that adolescents who were regularly discharged had more frequent contact with their family; however, they also showed higher alcohol consumption 6 months after treatment. Group composition was related to the girls' official offending, indicating that girls placed in mixed-sex groups showed significantly fewer official police contacts than did girls in girls-only treatment groups. CONCLUSION: Overall, structural treatment characteristics were hardly related to the adolescents' functioning after treatment. Suggestions for future research are discussed.
Child and Youth Care Forum 08/2012; 41(4):387-406. · 1.25 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
By interacting with children, group care workers shape daily living environments to influence treatment. Current literature provides little knowledge about the content of youth residential care.
In this study, a questionnaire called the Group care worker Intervention Checklist was developed.
Group care workers completed the questionnaires for 212 children placed in youth residential care in the Netherlands.
Factor analyses revealed three constructs: controlling, warmth/support, and autonomy granting. Reliability of these scales proved to be good. Controlling was associated with Externalizing Behavior Problems while both Warmth/Support and Autonomy Granting were associated with Internalizing Behavior Problems.
These findings imply that group care worker interventions can be reliably measured and are related to child problem behavior.
Child and Youth Care Forum 01/2012; 41(5). · 1.25 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The present study examined the association among sexual behavior and treatment improvement of institutionalized girls. Treatment files of 174 girls (M age = 15.71, SD = 1.14) were analyzed to obtain information about the sexual behavior of girls before admission. Based on their sexual behavior, girls were classified into three subgroups: girls showing sexually normative behavior (29%), girls showing promiscuous behavior (43%), and girls with a history of forced prostitution (29%). A subsample of 95 girls was also asked to complete questionnaires to measure treatment improvement. The findings revealed no differences in self-reported problem behavior between the subgroups at entrance. Over time differences between the subgroups were found, indicating that the girls in the different subgroups might require a different treatment approach. Further research that would include larger samples is needed to explore specific treatment needs.
Residential Treatment for Children & Youth 01/2012;
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In the present study, group care workers' behavior toward adolescents' problem behavior was measured. The sample consisted of 126 adolescents (M age = 15.80, SD = 1.23, 56% boys), residing in a new Dutch compulsory residential treatment program. Latent growth curve analyses revealed that group care workers exerted more structuring and controlling behavior toward adolescents with externalizing problems and more warmth and support toward adolescents with internalizing problems. No associations were found between group care workers' behavior and the adolescents' treatment progress. Clinical implications of these findings and suggestions for future research are discussed.
Residential Treatment for Children & Youth 07/2011; 28(3):232-250.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although young persons with severe and complex emotional and behavioural problems are often referred to the outpatient unit of the mental health service, little information is available about whether these problems increase over the years. This information is urgently needed in order to ensure that the mental health service provides adequate care.
To obtain more insight into any increase in young persons’ emotional and behavioural problems that may occur over a period of six years following referral to an outpatient unit of the mental health service.
The nature, severity and complexity of the emotional and behavioural problems of 123 young persons (1999) and of 149 young persons (2005) at the time of the referral - as rated by their parents on the basis of the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) - were assessed; the young persons’ records were also checked for background characteristics.
Compared to 1999, the year 2005 saw a slight decrease in the severity of the problems existing at referral; social problems also declined significantly compared to 1999. Problems identified in the 2005 group often seemed less complex than in 1999. The severity of delinquent behaviour as measured on the Delinquent Behaviour Scale seems to have risen in the 12 to 18 age group in 2005, whereas the severity declined in the 4 to 11-year olds.
Emotional and behavioural problems as reported by the parents at the time their children were referred to the mental health service do not increase.
Tijdschrift voor psychiatrie 01/2011; 53(5):265-73.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The present study examined whether a sample of 214 (52.8% male, M age = 15.76, SD = 1.29) institutionalized adolescents could be classified into subgroups based on psychopathic traits. Confirmatory Factor Analyses revealed a relationship between the subscales of the Youth Psychopathic traits Inventory (YPI) and the three latent constructs of the original model on which it is based. Latent Class Analyses showed that adolescents showing psychopathic traits could be classified into three subgroups. The first group showed low scores on the grandiose/manipulative dimension, the callous/unemotional dimension, and the impulsive/irresponsible dimension (normal group). The second group scored moderate on the grandiose/manipulative dimension and the callous/unemotional dimension and high on the impulsive/irresponsible dimension (impulsive, non-psychopathic-like group). The third group scored high on all three dimensions (psychopathy-like group). The findings revealed that the impulsive, non-psychopathic like group scored significantly higher on internalizing problem behavior compared to the normal group, while the psychopathy-like and the impulsive, non-psychopathic-like group both scored higher on externalizing problem behavior compared to the normal group. Based on a self-report delinquency measure, it appeared that the psychopathy-like group had the highest delinquency rates, except for vandalism. Both the impulsive and psychopathy-like group had the highest scores on the use of soft drugs.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of the present study was to examine the treatment progress of both adolescent's and their families' functioning in a new compulsory residential treatment program. The sample consisted of 339 admitted adolescents (56.3% boys). The mean age at time of entry was 15.69 (SDÂ =Â 1.30). Adolescents stayed on average 9.42Â months (SDÂ =Â 4.66) in a new residential treatment program. Data on adolescents' internalizing and externalizing problems were assessed using self-reports, parent reports, and group care worker reports. In addition, adolescents reported their substance use and delinquency and parents also reported family functioning and level of perceived parental stress. The findings revealed a significant decrease in adolescents' self-reported internalizing and externalizing problems, delinquency, and substance use. According to parent ratings, a significant improvement was found concerning adolescents' problem behaviors during treatment. However, according care worker ratings, adolescents showed no improvement on internalizing problems and showed an increase in externalizing problems. Concerning families, although there was no improvement in family functioning, parental stress significantly improved over time. Further research should examine whether improvements experienced during treatment are maintained after treatment.
Children and Youth Services Review 01/2011; 33(10):1779-1785. · 1.27 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The role of acquaintanceship with the child on reports of child behaviour by different informants was examined within the framework of a general theory of personality judgment. Mothers of referred children and group-care workers rated videotaped behaviour samples of a well known and an unknown child in the clinic. Independent observers also rated the videotapes. In line with the acquaintanceship hypothesis, mothers were found to perceive more behaviour problems than independent observers when rating well known children but not unknown children. Contrary to the acquaintanceship hypothesis, however, the group-care workers in our study reported more behaviour problems than the other informants regardless of their acquaintance with the children. The clinical and methodological implications of these findings are discussed.