Research is an integral part of our program and data collection a common experience for everyone on campus. St. Mary’s assures confidentiality and, before any data is gathered, consent forms must be signed.
We invest in research, convinced that scientific investigation of treatment and its effects will yield more usable techniques to help the boys who come to St. Mary’s. We conduct research so we can:
- facilitate generalization of a boy’s newly acquired changes into his home and family life;
- understand and develop unique approaches for dealing with specific kinds of behavior;
- assess objectively the quality and effectiveness of our treatment program and strategies, observing scientifically how today’s results compare with past results;
- understand each boy’s response to the individual treatment strategies;
- determine length of treatment times and develop less expensive approaches to treatment;
- answer questions about prior events, current problems, and the future needs of our residents;
- contribute to the major pool of information in the literature that helps others acquire effective treatment methods.
The facts, generalizations, and significant relationships disclosed through research help us understand the people whose lifestyles, if unchanged, will result in crimes, abuse to others, and expense to society.
Our research continues after a boy’s discharge from St. Mary’s. A questionnaire is sent annually to each former resident’s case worker and/or parent, school, or employer. We also ask community advocates/members to record information about selected former residents and send it to St. Mary’s.