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To date, the literature sorely lacks empirical research exploring treatment outcomes among children in residential treatment centers (RTCs). Resultingly, there is an increasing demand for more studies examining such outcomes, particularly as they pertain to an individual’s experience leaving an RTC. There is even less research exploring the perspectives of individuals who resided in an RTC as a child due to the vulnerable nature of this population and difficulty in accessibility. The transitional period is believed to be a salient component impacting treatment outcomes, yet little is known about how this component of residential treatment is experienced and whether it impacts individuals long-term. Therefore, the study utilizes narrative qualitative research methods to address the following question: What is the lived experience of adults who transitioned out of an RTC as a child? Participants consisted of adults who resided in an RTC as a child for at least six-months. They were asked questions aimed to extract their stories associated with residing in and transitioning out of an RTC as a child. Data was obtained from each participant from a series of two to five interviews and will be analyzed and restoried by chronology and themes with the goal to extrapolate meaning associated with the stories. These methods allow for an in-depth and rich description of this phenomenon. Various validation and reliability procedures were utilized to ensure integrity and legitimacy of the findings. Methodological factors associated with the study and preliminary patterns and themes will be presented.

First Advisor

S. Jean Caraway

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