Date of Conferral







Sandra Mahoney


The use of restraints and seclusions in psychiatric treatment facilities for children and adolescents has caused major disputes in the healthcare field. Treatment providers determine the need to implement a restraint or seclusion depending on their perceptions of the situation and their responsibility to abide by the rules and regulations of the facility. The purpose of this research was to gain a deep understanding of how treatment providers are affected prior to, during, and following the use of a restraint or seclusion with a child or adolescent patient. Attribution theory was the theoretical framework used to examine this phenomenon. Data were gathered from in-depth interviews through the process of purposive sampling of 8 treatment providers from child/adolescent psychiatric treatment facilities in a large Midwestern city. Written documentation from the interviews was hand coded using interpretative phenomenological analysis to determine patterns and themes. Treatment providers shared a variety of experiences, including emotional and physiological reactions toward restraint use, relying on familiarity with patients to assist with reacting appropriately to challenging situations, questioning their ability to incorporate proper techniques and procedures, experiencing struggles with power and control, developing relationships and support, and debriefing. Data from this study could lead to positive social change as the experiences shared by participants provide knowledge and insight into the complexities of the intervention process and could assist child/adolescent facilities with developing alternative actions during crises that do not involve restraints or seclusions but rather coping techniques to assist with a reduction in aggressive behavior.