Date of Conferral







Robert Meyer


Outpatient treatment programs for low-level criminogenic youth have been shown to positively impact behavioral trends and recidivism rates. By providing juvenile offenders the opportunity to remain in the community while receiving clinical interventions to address their maladaptive behaviors, outpatient therapy enables participating youth to identify their negative decision patterns. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to examine the individual experience of low-level criminogenic youth who successfully completed outpatient treatment. Bandura’s self-efficacy theory was used to frame the study, and audio recordings were collected during semistructured interviews with 8 participants. Subsequently, the recordings were transcribed and the data were coded to identify emerging themes concerning individual experiences and corresponding behavioral patterns, which included the following: Outpatient treatment aided in decreasing recidivism and improving personal decision patterns, involvement in outpatient treatment aided in decreasing substance use among participants, and outpatient treatment helped establish improved behavioral patterns after the program was completed. The themes that offered insight into the individual experiences of the participants included improved self-efficacy through active participation and engagement in outpatient treatment, overall positive experience throughout outpatient therapy, and improved life trajectory due to involvement in outpatient treatment. These results may provide insight to current outpatient treatment programs to improve their design and clinical approach in order to continuing addressing ongoing issues associated with criminogenic youth within communities.