Roy C, Morizot J, Lamothe J, Geoffrion S. (2020). The influence of residential workers social climate on the use of restraint and seclusion: A longitudinal study in a residential treatment center for youth. Children and Youth Services Review, 114, 105035.
Restraint and seclusion (R&S) are two types of interventions residential workers can use to manage aggressive behaviors in youth residential treatment centers (RTC). Factors related to the environment, children, and residential workers have all been associated with their use. Although research in psychiatric settings has shown a relationship between social climate and the use of R&S, no similar studies have been conducted in RTC. The first objective of this paper was to assess the extent to which social climate was associated with the use of R&S in RTC. The second objective was to observe how each dimension of social climate predicted the use of R&S. To accomplish this, a sample of 198 residential workers completed a monthly questionnaire on their unit’s social climate at three different time points. Crossed-lagged analyses were performed to test associations between different dimensions of social climate and the use of R&S over time. Results suggest that good communication and openness among team members are associated with lower rates of R&S use while the focus on common objectives and planning are associated with an increased use of these measures. Perceptions of a negative team climate were not associated with the use of R&S. Results imply that if residential workers had the time and the training needed to meet the needs of individual children they would favor alternative interventions instead of worrying about creating tensions with colleagues.