Surviving the "Yellow Door" - An Analysis of Post-Treatment Psychosocial Resilience




Koller, Adrienne M.

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Although research has been conducted on residential treatment centers, there has been little research that explores how this experience impacted former students in terms of their psychosocial and life skills functioning post-treatment. Moreover, research has failed to include the student’s interpretation of their experience and perceptions in outcome findings. Using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis and Framework Method, interview questionnaires of 41 former Sonia Shankman Orthogenic School students were subjected to qualitative analysis in order to identify common themes across participants. Identified themes included psychosocial functioning deficits, reduced life skills functioning, and long-term emotional sequelae. Results from the present study suggest that participants disassociated the positive achievements attained in life, such as academic achievements, healthy relationships, successful careers, and positive self-esteem, from their experience and treatment received at the Orthogenic School. They also identified long-term effects, such as significant emotional scarring, need for increased mental health treatment, reduced functioning skills, and inability to form healthy or intimate relationships that they attributed to their experience and treatment at the Orthogenic School. These descriptive accounts can be utilized to improve and update therapeutic policy within residential treatment centers, minimizing ineffective treatment or negative long-term effects.



Sonia Shankman Orthogenic School, Bettelheim, Bruno, Treatment outcomes, Emotionally disturbed children in residential treatment, Interpretative phenomenological analysis, Child behavior, Adverse childhood experiences, Attachment theory, Social bonds/control theory, Differential association theory, Modeling theory


Koller, A. M. (2015). <i>Surviving the "Yellow Door" - An analysis of post-treatment psychosocial resilience</i> (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.


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