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Planned treatment and outcomes in residential youth care: Evidence from Sweden

Erik Lindqvist ()

Children and Youth Services Review, 2011, vol. 33, issue 1, 21-27

Abstract: A recurring theme in evaluations of Swedish residential youth care is that treatment is often unplanned. Using a data set of teenagers placed in youth care in 1991 (NÂ =Â 357), we show that planned treatment -- in the sense of a known expected duration of treatment -- is strongly positively associated with treatment outcomes. In the short term, teenagers with planned treatment are 32% less likely to experience a treatment breakdown and 25% less likely to be reassigned to other forms of residential care after completed treatment. In the long term, teenagers with planned treatment are 21% less likely to engage in criminal behavior and 40% less likely to be hospitalized for mental health problems. The results are robust to controlling for a rich set of potentially confounding factors: Even though observable pre-treatment teenager characteristics explain about one fifth of the variation in criminal behavior 5-10Â years after treatment, they have almost no predictive power for whether treatment is planned or unplanned.

Keywords: Residential; youth; care; Juvenile; delinquency; Recidivism; Principal-agent; problems; Bureaucracy (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2011
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