Ego development and treatment in a residential facility

Stephen Mark Shainbart, Fordham University


This study explored the relationship between ego development and treatment among 36 emotionally disturbed adolescent boys in a residential treatment facility. The major focus was on the implications of ego development, as measured by the Sentence Completion Test, for performance on the behavior modification program in the facility. The present study is the first empirical examination of this issue. This study also focused on the relationships between ego development and other treatment issues. These included critical incident reports (behavioral episodes requiring formal documentation), PRN's (psychotropic medication given on an as-needed basis) following physical restraints, psychiatric diagnosis, and psychiatric hospitalization, all as recorded by the institution. Ego development, after controlling for age and IQ, added a small increment of 6% to the predicted variance in overall points on the behavior modification program; the increment was not significant. Similarly, none of the correlations between ego development and critical incidents, PRN's, hospitalizations, and diagnosis were significant, with one exception. Ego development was negatively related to AWOL incidents. Exploratory analyses were conducted in order to examine the relationship between age and behavior modification and IQ and behavior modification. Age did not contribute significantly to the prediction of variance in behavior modification points. IQ had a negative relationship with behavior modification points. The small sample size of the study made significant results unlikely. Because results were not significant, ego development was not demonstrated to be related to behavior modification or any of the other treatment issues. If the results of the present study prove to be robust in studies with larger sample sizes, however, it would be more evident that performance on a behavior modification program improves as ego development increases. Similarly, if results prove to be robust in studies with larger sample sizes, low ego development could be associated with critical incidents, PRN's given after physical restraint, and psychiatric diagnosis. Hospitalization may not be related to low ego development because it may be relatively routine for a residential treatment facility's population. Future studies can set their sample sizes accordingly, based on the effect sizes found in this study.

Subject Area

Developmental psychology|Social psychology

Recommended Citation

Shainbart, Stephen Mark, "Ego development and treatment in a residential facility" (1995). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI9530042.