The Coping and Adaptation of Youth After Discharge from Residential Treatment: Mothers' Perspective

Patel, Mohini
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University of Guelph

Approximately 20% of youth are diagnosed with a mental health disorder; emotional behavioural disorders (EBDs) are amongst the most prevalent mental health disorders (Pastor, Reuben, & Duran, 2012; Waddell et al., 2002). High risk youth with EBD may access residential treatment (RT) which provides a secure setting where youth stay long-term to receive treatment for their EBD symptoms. The purpose of this study was to explore mothers’ reports on the transition home and how their child coped with the transition experiences after RT. Ten mothers of youth discharged from RT participated in a semi-structured interview 4 weeks post-RT. Mothers commented on some irritability, unpredictability and some decline in functioning seen in their child. Several coping strategies were reported: cathartic activities, social support, avoidance, social isolation and coping strategies acquired from RT. The mothers’ reports suggested that youth struggled to manage the transition without extensive formal and informal support networks.

Youth, Mental health, Residential treatment, Coping, Adaptation, Emotional behavioural disorders