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

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Abstract

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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  • Lindqvist, Erik, 2010. "Planned Treatment and Outcomes in Residential Youth Care: Evidence from Sweden," Working Paper Series 834, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:iuiwop:0834
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    1. 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.
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    3. Steven D. Levitt, 1998. "Juvenile Crime and Punishment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(6), pages 1156-1185, December.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
    9. 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.
    10. Bayer, Patrick & Pozen, David E, 2005. "The Effectiveness of Juvenile Correctional Facilities: Public versus Private Management," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 48(2), pages 549-589, October.
    11. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Lindquist, Matthew J. & Santavirta, Torsten, 2012. "Does Placing Children in Out-of-Home Care Increase Their Adult Criminality?," Working Paper Series 8/2012, Stockholm University, Swedish Institute for Social Research.
    2. Thoburn, June, 2016. "Residential care as a permanence option for young people needing longer-term care," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 19-28.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Residential Youth Care; Juvenile Delinquency; Recidivism; Principal-agent Problems; Bureaucracy;

    JEL classification:

    • H75 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Government: Health, Education, and Welfare
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior

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