Developing a standard for youth modified therapeutic communities

Jaimie Chloe Northam, Lynne MAGOR-BLATCH

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to explore the applicability of the Australasian Therapeutic Communities Association (ATCA) Standard to Australian youth-specific modified therapeutic communities (MTCs). An Interpretive Guide for Youth MTCs and Residential Rehabilitation (RR) Services was developed and a pilot trial conducted with three Australian youth MTC services. Design/methodology/approach: Using a mixed-methods design, this study included three components: a consultation process with residential youth MTCs (N = 15), which informed the development of the ATCA Standard Interpretive Guide for Youth MTCs and RR Services; a pilot trial of the materials with three Australian youth MTCs (N = 53); and an evaluation of the interpretive guide and assessment of applicability of the ATCA standard to youth MTCs through pre- (N = 32) and post- (N = 19) pilot trial administrations of the Survey of Essential Elements Questionnaires (SEEQ), and post-pilot trial focus groups (N = 21). Findings: Results indicate that the ATCA Standard is applicable to youth MTC settings when applied with the Interpretive Guide, although no significant differences were found between the pre- and post-pilot trial administrations of the SEEQ. Practical implications: Future research is recommended to explore active mechanisms of youth-specific MTCs, differences between adults and youth MTCs, and the development of TC-specific training. Originality/value: To date, no standard for youth residential substance use services in Australia has been developed, and this is the first study of its kind internationally to explore the efficacy of standards in a youth MTC. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved) (Source: journal abstract)
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)140-148
Number of pages9
JournalTherapeutic Communities
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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