The Dynamics of Residential Treatment: A Social System Analysis

The Dynamics of Residential Treatment: A Social System Analysis

The Dynamics of Residential Treatment: A Social System Analysis

The Dynamics of Residential Treatment: A Social System Analysis

Excerpt

The point of departure of this study is the analysis of cottage life in residential treatment. We concentrate on the cottages, the basic living units of the institution, in order to study the dynamics of day-to-day living relationships between staff and residents as actors in a complex social system.

Fairline, Hearthstone, and Concord are pseudonyms given to three cottages selected for analysis. They constitute the Senior Boys' Unit at Hawthorne Cedar Knolls School, a treatment center twenty-five miles from New York City. A brief overview of the institution, with emphasis on the life of the older boys, will serve as background for the study.

The Setting

Hawthorne Cedar Knolls School contains 205 emotionally disturbed boys and girls, ranging from the ages of nine through eighteen. About 160 boys occupy three divisions--the Junior, Intermediate, and Senior units--each of which contains three cottages. All nine boys' cottages are located on one side of the campus, and three girls' cottages are on the other side. Interaction among the boys within a cottage is much greater than between cottages, and boys . . .

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