Nation's First Study of Private Residential Treatment Programs Shows:
Teens Improve at Aspen Education Group

Read more: Results one year after discharge >>

Between August 2003 and January 2006, Aspen Education Group participated in the nation's first large-scale study of its kind, measuring the effectiveness of Aspen's private residential programs for teens and their families. The study collected survey responses, both at program admission and then again at discharge, from 993 young people ages 13-18, enrolled in Aspen's residential programs. The study also collected responses from their parents or guardians. The following are highlights that might prove valuable in evaluating your decision to enroll your child in a private residential program.

This ground breaking study was conducted by an independent research company, Canyon Research and Consulting, with oversight by the Western Institutional Review Board. Results of this study were presented at the 114th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association – August 2006.

Aspen's Programs Reduce Behavioral Problems

Teens Are Behaving Better As A Result Of Aspen's Programs

What Parents And Their Teens Told Researchers: At admission to the program, common behaviors included:

  • Aggressiveness
  • Withdrawal
  • Rule breaking
Why This May Be Important To You: Both parents and teens agreed the teens' behavior was not in the normal range of a typical teenager prior to treatment. However, at discharge, teens were far more cooperative, with their negative behaviors diminished to "normal" levels.

Aspen's Programs Reduce Emotional Problems

Aspen's Programs Help Teens Feel Better About Themselves

What Parents And Their Teens Told Researchers: The majority of teens entering the program were experiencing emotional problems, including higher levels of:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
Why This May Be Important To You: After treatment in an Aspen residential program, both parents and teens indicated the teens' emotional problems had been reduced to a normal range. Aspen's programs helped teens develop a better sense of self, providing the confidence to be less susceptible to peer pressure and other outside influences.

Aspen's Private Residential Programs Succeed Where Others Do Not...

What Parents And Their Teens Told Researchers: 95% of the teens had received prior treatment at other levels-of-care including:

  • Individual therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Psychiatric hospitalization
  • Use of prescribed psychiatric medication
  • Treatment at another residential therapy program or boarding school


8 out of 10 teens who came to Aspen residential programs previously participated in individual and/or group therapy.

Why This May Be Important To You: Aspen's residential programs provided more than just hope for these teens and their families. Teens who have not responded to other treatments improve during treatment at Aspen's private residential treatment programs.

Better Lives For Teens

What Parents And Their Teens Told Researchers: Upon admission, teens were experiencing various psychological and social challenges including:

  • Disruptive behavior disorders
  • Substance abuse
  • Mood disorders
  • Schizophrenia
  • Learning disorders
  • Eating disorders
  • Personality disorders
  • Anxiety
  • Trauma
Why This May Be Important To You: After enrollment, participation and completion of an Aspen program, there was dramatic improvement on all measures of psychological and social issues. In fact, 97% of parents reported that their teens' overall symptoms relating to these issues were reduced. These results indicate that the majority of adolescents change in positive, meaningful and reliable ways during private residential treatment at Aspen's programs.

Aspen Helps Families In Trouble

What Parents And Their Teens Told Researchers: At discharge from the program, both parents and teens reported:

  • Better family communications
  • Improved personal family dynamics
Why This May Be Important To You: Prior to treatment, teens and their families were showing signs of serious trouble. Teens and parents weren't communicating effectively, teens weren't complying with family rules and expectations, and the whole family was suffering. Aspen's programs brought significant, positive change to these families.

What this study means for parents. Aspen Education Group recognizes the difficult challenges parents face when considering a treatment program for their child. Parents often wonder…will a program work for my child? For our family? This study indicates that, yes, Aspen's residential programs do work. They help create better lives for teens, parents and the whole family.

What this study means for students. Aspen's programs help teens to feel better about themselves, improve their behavior and develop stronger family relationships.

Funding for this study was provided by Aspen Education Group.