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Planned Treatment and Outcomes in Residential Youth Care: Evidence from Sweden

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A recurring theme in evaluations of Swedish residential youth care is that treatment is often unplanned. In this paper, I show that planned treatment is strongly positively associated with treatment outcomes. In the short term, teenagers with planned treatment are less likely to experience a treatment breakdown or be reassigned to other forms of residential care after completed treatment. In the long term, teenagers with planned treatment are less likely to engage in criminal behaviour or 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 quarter of the variation in criminal behavior 5–10 years after treatment, they have almost no predictive power for whether treatment is planned or unplanned.

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Paper provided by Research Institute of Industrial Economics in its series Working Paper Series with number 834.

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Length: 20 pages
Date of creation: 28 May 2010
Publication status: Published as Lindqvist, Erik, 'Planned Treatment and Outcomes in Residential Youth Care: Evidence from Sweden' in Children and Youth Services Review, 2011, pages 21-27.
Handle: RePEc:hhs:iuiwop:0834
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Research Institute of Industrial Economics, Box 55665, SE-102 15 Stockholm, Sweden

Phone: +46 8 665 4500
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  1. Trout, Alexandra L. & Hagaman, Jessica & Casey, Kathryn & Reid, Robert & Epstein, Michael H., 2008. "The academic status of children and youth in out-of-home care: A review of the literature," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(9), pages 979-994, September.
  2. Patrick Bayer & Randi Hjalmarsson & David Pozen, 2009. "Building Criminal Capital behind Bars: Peer Effects in Juvenile Corrections," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(1), pages 105-147.
  3. Joseph G. Altonji & Todd E. Elder & Christopher R. Taber, 2005. "Selection on Observed and Unobserved Variables: Assessing the Effectiveness of Catholic Schools," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(1), pages 151-184, February.
  4. Randi Hjalmarsson, 2009. "Juvenile Jails: A Path to the Straight and Narrow or to Hardened Criminality?," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 52(4), pages 779-809, November.
  5. Steven D. Levitt, 1997. "Juvenile Crime and Punishment," NBER Working Papers 6191, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Ward, Harriet, 2009. "Patterns of instability: Moves within the care system, their reasons, contexts and consequences," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(10), pages 1113-1118, October.
  7. Christiansen, Øivin & Havik, Toril & Anderssen, Norman, 2010. "Arranging stability for children in long-term out-of-home care," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(7), pages 913-921, July.
  8. Steckley, Laura, 2010. "Containment and holding environments: Understanding and reducing physical restraint in residential child care," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 120-128, January.
  9. Patrick Bayer & David E. Pozen, 2003. "The Effectiveness of Juvenile Correctional Facilities: Public versus Private Management," Working Papers 863, Economic Growth Center, Yale University, revised Nov 2004.
  10. Smith, Brenda D. & Duffee, David E. & Steinke, Camela M. & Huang, Yufan & Larkin, Heather, 2008. "Outcomes in residential treatment for youth: The role of early engagement," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(12), pages 1425-1436, December.
  11. Jenson, Jeffrey M. & Whittaker, James K., 1987. "Parental involvement in children's residential treatment: From preplacement to aftercare," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 81-100.
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