The family characteristics of youth entering a residential care program

Annette K. Griffith, Stephanie D. Ingram, Richard P. Barth, Alexandra L. Trout, Kristin Duppong Hurley, Ronald W. Thompson, Michael H. Epstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Although much is known about the mental health and behavioral functioning of youth who enter residential care programs, very little research has focused on examining the family characteristics of this population. Knowledge about family characteristics is important, however, as it can aid in tailoring programs to meet the needs of families who are involved in treatment and help them address concerns in order to facilitate the transition home. Therefore, the purpose of the present study was to examine the characteristics of youth's families at the time of entry into a residential care program. Using data from archived youth files, family characteristics were examined across several areas, including: (a) youth variables related to family (e.g., out-of-home placements, legal guardian), (b) family risk (e.g., substance abuse, domestic violence, financial problems), and (c) parenting (e.g., adequate supervision, discipline, communication). Findings suggested that youth entering residential care programs have families with high levels of risk and low levels of parenting skills. Implications and considerations for future research are discussed

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)135-150
Number of pages16
JournalResidential Treatment for Children and Youth
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2009


  • Family
  • Family characteristics
  • Parenting
  • Residential care
  • Youth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Law


Dive into the research topics of 'The family characteristics of youth entering a residential care program'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this