Date of Paper

5-2013

Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)

Department

Social Work

First Advisor

Michael G. Chovanec

Abstract

Young children ages three to six, who have insecure or disorganized attachment styles, are more likely to be diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder. Research implies that improving attachment can lead to improved functioning. One mode of treatment for young children with emotional and behavioral disorders is day treatment, specifically day treatment that focuses on attachment. In this study, a secondary data analysis was used to assess the effectiveness of a day treatment program in a community mental health agency in the Midwest for children age’s three to six. Scores from the Attachment Pattern Scale (APS) at three points in time, ten days into treatment, six months into treatment and at discharge were used. The data was analyzed to answer the question: do attachment pattern skills improve over time for young children enrolled in day treatment? The study used scores from 41 subjects that were previously enrolled in the day treatment program. Paired t tests were used to compare mean scores at ten days and six months as well as ten days and discharge. The analysis showed that improvements in APS scores between ten days and six months as well as ten days and discharge were statistically significant. Effect sizes were .85 for ten days to six months and 1.51 for ten days to discharge. The results imply that day treatment is effective in improving attachment pattern skills and possibly functioning.

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