Organizational leadership and its relationship to outcomes in residential treatment.
Increasing patterns of abuse, neglect and violence towards children and adolescents in the United States has incurred billions of dollars in treatment expenditures. The current movement in evidence-based practice in mental health emphasizes the development of standards of practice, treatment protocols, and formalized treatment manuals that have established effectiveness. The intent of the correlative study was to add empirical evidence that may lead to increased outcome evaluation in residential treatment, and the capacity to increase the knowledge base in residential treatment, leading to evidence-based protocols and training of staff. Investigation of organizational servant leadership and positive treatment outcomes for emotionally troubled young people in residential organizations was the hypothesis of the study. Identification of particular leadership in each residential organization, and the correlative value related to positive outcomes for emotionally troubled young people in these residential organizations was obtained and evaluated. The Organizational Leadership Assessment (OLA) instrument was used to measure the organizations' leadership, which included Servant, Paternalistic and Autocratic mindsets. The outcomes for measuring the impact on emotionally troubled young people included movement to less restrictive environment and planned discharge. Sixteen residential treatment organizations (total sample size) voluntarily participated in this study. The quantitative study included 1,165 OLA surveys completed. The percentage of completion was high at 92%. The selection of the Spearman rank correlation was utilized for statistical purposes in determining the association between servant leadership (independent variable) and movement to less restrictive environment and planned discharge (dependent variables). The hypothesis projected a positive correlation between servant leadership and successful outcomes. The exploratory and research data demonstrated a weak negative correlation between servant leadership and the outcomes. The research did not support the hypothesis. The data analyzing large and small organizations indicated that larger organizations had better outcomes, yet had lower servant leadership. Smaller organizations had higher servant leadership, yet lower outcomes. A paternalistic mindset was the primary focus in organizational leadership evidenced by the study's data and is suggested for future research. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)