An Evaluation of Counseling Theories Used in Juvenile Treatment Programs

Counselling, Gestalt psychotherapy, PsychoanalysisResearchNon-randomized controlled trials or naturalistic studyEnglish
Journal Article - Paid access


The number of adjudicated delinquents is rising along with the need to develop effective deterrents and rehabilitative programs. Most rehabilitative efforts, when evaluated individually, do not show any significant degree of effectiveness or appreciable decrease in recidivism. Research in other fields suggests that delinquency is a group phenomenon. This study was conducted to examine existing treatment programs for juvenile offenders to determine if recidivism rates were related to differences in counseling theory and methods. The sample consisted of 728 juveniles assigned to three different non-residential programs in southern Arizona. Program A (N=305) was eclectic in its basic counseling theory; program B (N=365) placed emphasis on Gestalt theory; and program C (N=58) stressed Adlerian theory, placing added importance on peer-group techniques. Data were obtained from county juvenile court records and from program personnel. There were no significant differences found between males and females for any program, and no significant ethnic differences were found. For all programs, effectiveness increased for graduates of the program. Compared to programs A and B, program C with its Adlerian theory base was found to be significantly more effective in controlling recidivism while the juveniles were undergoing counseling and through 18 months after release. Graduates of program C spent relatively less time in counseling than did graduates of programs A or B.

APA citation

Patnoe, N., & Newlon, B. (1984). An Evaluation of Counseling Theories Used in Juvenile Treatment Programs, 27.