Therapeutic Communities: Management and Performance
have shown great promise for producing significant behavioral
changes and successful
"habilitation" of substance abusers and addicts (DeLeon, 2000).
In order to understand how therapeutic communities are differentially
successful, a focus upon their organization and management is critical.
Several aspects of therapeutic community management appear to be problematic
in maximizing the effectiveness of these organizations. These include
recruitment of clients, retention of clients, maintaining organizational
funding, and characteristics of those in management and leadership positions.
We are working on a longitudinal study of organizational features and
managerial practices in a nationally representative sample of therapeutic
communities, excluding those based in prisons or other correctional settings.
The initial part of the study centered on the definition of the therapeutic
community, using the established measures of the Essential Elements Questionnaires.
The primary goal of the study was to discern the predictors of different
patterns of organizational performance, stability and change in this
sample of therapeutic communities as these organizations cope with the
turbulent environment of substance abuse treatment. Using a representative
national sample of programs that self-identified as therapeutic communities (N=450), this study collected longitudinal data on: organizational structure, organizational/therapeutic
culture, organizational management and human resources, treatment services, clinical
process, external environment and organizational
Paul M. Roman
Funding Source: National Institute on Drug Abuse
Funding Period: September 2001 - July 2006