Running away from residential treatment is a relatively common and dangerous outcome for youth. Both clinical and program factors have been associated with the risk of running away. The present study directly compared the relative importance of youth-specific and program-specific predictors in a large sample across 52 treatment sites. Data from a state-wide outcomes management system for residential treatment were used to study youth who were discharged because of running away. A sample of 2,114 treatment episodes was analyzed. Consistent with prior research, youth-specific variables such as gender and substance use were associated with risk of discharge due to running away. However, program was an equally powerful predictor of who runs from treatment. While some youth are at greater risk of running from treatment than others, it also appears to be the case that some programs are better at preventing running, even among high risk youth.
- Provider variation
- Residential treatment