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Self-Concept Changes During Youth-Home Placement of Adolescents

NCJ Number
Adolescence Volume: 22 Issue: 86 Dated: (Summer 1987) Pages: 385-392
R Krueger; J C Hansen
Date Published
8 pages
Youth status offenders typically present both mental health and behavior problems, this study demonstrates self-concept enhancement in a youth placement program as an appropriate rehabilitative goal.
In New York State, group home placement is considered one of the least restrictive options since it affords youth status offenders the opportunity to remain in their own community. A sample of 46 male and female subjects who resided in a youth home for 12 months was studied. The Tennessee Self-Concept Scale was administered to assess self-concept changes while in the youth home. Boys entered the program with significantly higher self-esteem scores. Although both boys and girls showed major growth while in the youth home, boys remained significantly higher in self-esteem at termination. It is not clear why boys showed more changes than girls, but this finding might be explained by the fact that adolescent males are very conscious of their physical development and therefore do not show much change. The mean change in the concept of family self was the greatest for both boys and girls. Self-concepts of youth from an original family increased 15 points, from a single-parent family 19 points, and from a remarried family nearly 24 points. Youth from single-parent and remarried families entered the program with lower self-concept scores but made considerable changes. Although the group home experience was successful in improving self-esteem and behavior, not all youth were helped. Some youth require more restrictive placement or a more secure placement with greater therapeutic intervention. 2 references, 2 tables.