A dissertation presented to the Faculty of the School of Psychology & Counseling, Regent University, in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, by Taylor L. Johnson, July 2017.
Lee A. Underwood, Psy. D., Chair of Committee Regent University, School of Psychology & Counseling
Frances Dailey, Ph.D., Committee Member Argosy University, College of Counseling, Psychology & Social Sciences
Cyrus Williams, Ph.D., Committee Member Regent University, School of Psychology & Counseling
Dr. Mark Newmeyer, Ph.D., Program Director Regent University, School of Psychology & Counseling
Increases in research on juvenile sexual behavior problems have created a need for more evidence-based treatment. Furthermore, literature shows that the social climate of a treatment facility is an important variable, yet more empirical data exploring how it impacts juveniles with sexual behavior problems in secure care facilities is needed. This study evaluated the perceived social climate of both staff and juveniles in two secure care facilities; as measured by the Ward Atmosphere Scale (WAS), and was a one-time administration. Subjects were 56 adjudicated male juveniles with sexual behavior problems (n=35) and staff (n=21), respectively. Overall, the staff and juveniles’ social climate perceptions were found to be significantly different in the System Maintenance higher order domain of the WAS. Additionally, preliminary data analysis discovered that the two sites were statistically significantly different for the WAS subscales of Order and Organization, Support, Involvement, as well as the higher order domains of System Maintenance and Relationship. Finally, the theoretical and practical implications, strengths and limitations, recommendations for future research and practices for this study are discussed.