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Group care worker interventions and child problem behavior in residential youth care: Course and bidirectional associations

Author

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  • Bastiaanssen, Inge L.W.
  • Delsing, Marc J.M.H.
  • Kroes, Gert
  • Engels, Rutger C.M.E.
  • Veerman, Jan W.

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 8.63years) at the beginning of the treatment and at two measurement intervals that followed (6 and 12months, 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Bastiaanssen, Inge L.W. & Delsing, Marc J.M.H. & Kroes, Gert & Engels, Rutger C.M.E. & Veerman, Jan W., 2014. "Group care worker interventions and child problem behavior in residential youth care: Course and bidirectional associations," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 48-56.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:cysrev:v:39:y:2014:i:c:p:48-56
    DOI: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2014.01.012
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Maneiro, Lorena & Gómez-Fraguela, José Antonio & López-Romero, Laura & Cutrín, Olalla & Sobral, Jorge, 2019. "Risk profiles for antisocial behavior in adolescents placed in residential care," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 278-286.
    2. Sanders, Jackie & Munford, Robyn, 2014. "Youth-centred practice: Positive youth development practices and pathways to better outcomes for vulnerable youth," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 160-167.
    3. Liebenberg, Linda & Sanders, Jackie & Munford, Robyn, 2016. "A positive youth development measure of service use satisfaction for youth: The 13-item youth services satisfaction (YSS-13)," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 84-92.
    4. Eenshuistra, Annika & Harder, Annemiek T. & Knorth, Erik J., 2019. "One size does not fit all: A systematic review of training outcomes on residential youth care professionals' skills," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 135-147.
    5. Strijbosch, E.L.L. & Wissink, I.B. & van der Helm, G.H.P. & Stams, G.J.J.M., 2019. "Building a positive group climate together: How monitoring instruments are part of an improvement process in residential care for children," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 266-277.

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