Date of Award


Degree Type


University or Center

Atlanta University (AU)


School of Education

Degree Name



Purpose of the Study

The major purpose of this study was to determine the effect of a day treatment program on the behavior progress and the length of treatment of students identified as behavior disordered adolescents in the following areas: 1) aggressiveness, 2) attentiveness, 3) hyperactivity, 4) anxiety, 5) sociability, 6) psychosomatic complaints or symptoms, and 7) additional problems, in a public school setting.

Research Method and Design

The design of the study followed a natural observational approach. The research study is an adaptation of the Mary Margaret Wood prototype for the Georgia Psycho-educational Center Network in which the descriptive research method was utilized. In this design the observers did not control or manipulate anything that would possibly affect the observed situation in any way. The natural observation involved the definition of the variables, training of observers, and recording observations through direct observation techniques.

To analyze the data, descriptive statistics were used to describe and summarize the researcher's observations and measurements. In order to determine the progress that each student made during the study a non-independent t-test was administered. The measure analyzed by the non-independent t-test was the difference between the preassessment and post-assessment scores for each student. A t-ratio was used to determine the statistical significance of the amount of progress for students who entered the day treatment program in the following intervals: nine months, seven months, and five months.

Because the previously described groups were small, the difference of scores from the t-test was used to compute the analysis of variance (ANOVA), which analyzed the effects of the length of treatment on the behavior progress of behavior disordered adolescents.

The adolescent day treatment program evaluation methodology was not specifically designed to yield universally valid information. Rather than comparing the performance of individuals in the program with other individuals, criteria were established for three groups, thus enabling the individual's progress to be assessed relative to the group.

Selected Findings

The findings derived from the study revealed that the day treatment program had a significant effect on the behavior progress of the behavior disordered adolescents in each of the three groups. The data further showed that the length of treatment had an effect on the amount of progress made by behavior disordered adolescents in each group.


The findings of this study seem to warrant the following conclusions:

1. The day treatment program was effective in modifying the behavior of behavior disordered adolescents.

2. The length of treatment in the day treatment program was a factor affecting the behavior of behavior disordered youngsters.

3. The day treatment program significantly reduced aggressive behavior and was least effective in reducing psychomatic complaints or symptoms of the behavior disordered adolescents.

4. The day treatment program increased the attentiveness and sociability of behavior disordered adolescents.


Factors related to the outcomes of the study were:

1. School systems seeking to modify the behavior disordered adolescents in aggressiveness, attentiveness, and sociability should organize a day treatment program for adolescents in a regular high school setting.

2. An effective day treatment program should be planned and implemented for a full academic year.

3. To alleviate aggressive behavior in behavior disordered adolescents, a day treatment program should be instituted.

4. Other approaches should be used in reducing psychomatic complaints or symptoms and other problems of behavior disordered adolescents.

5. Day treatment programs should be instituted as a means of increasing attentiveness and sociability of behavior disordered adolescents.


The findings, conclusions, and implications gave basis for the following recommendations;

1. The study should be replicated utilizing a larger number of subjects and a wider geographical area,

2. The study should be repeated using a quasi-experimental approach.

3. The day treatment program should be revised as new research evolves.

4. The day treatment program should be replicated using smaller numbers of variables and descriptors with a larger sample, with controls for factors such as age, race, and sex.

5. The effect of the day treatment program as a method of treatment should be studied over a longer period of time in order to determine the impact of length of treatment on behavior program,

6. A day treatment program should be used as an initial placement procedure in lieu of institutionalization and as a transitional program for students entering the public schools from residential settings,

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