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Date of Award

12-20-2003

Degree Type

Dissertation (On-Campus Access Only)

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)

Committee Chair

Catherine Miller

Second Advisor

Eric Johnson

Third Advisor

Michel Hersen

Abstract

Juvenile crime is a serious problem. The crime rate, severity of crimes committed, and recidivism rates are continuing to rise. Although research has attempted to understand and predict the causes of criminal behavior, efforts to deal with the current problem have not been successful. Studies on treatment for juveniles have been varied in the questions posed, methods used, interventions attempted and results found. However, upon review of the research for juvenile crime and treatment, there are several prevailing findings. Institutionalizing a juvenile is not an effective tool in rehabilitation. Treating the problems of the individual is having little impact with juveniles. Teaching parenting skills to a parent of a juvenile has been met with modest success. Collaborative interventions such as Multi-Systemic Treatment appear to demonstrate the most success for this population. Based on a thorough review of the literature, several recommendations are made for future research and practice. Successfully dealing with juvenile problems will require a qualitative look at needs of high-risk families, collaboration between programs and departments, and a heavy reliance on system change as opposed to system stagnation.

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