Enhancing adolescents' motivation for treatment in compulsory residential care: A clinical review

Malou Brauers*, Leoniek Kroneman, René Otten, Ramón Lindauer, Arne Popma

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Youths in compulsory residential care show a high prevalence of various mental health problems but often lack motivation to engage in therapeutic treatment. Although the self-determination-theory (SDT) and the transtheoretical model of change (TTM) offer a useful framework for treatment motivation, they do not describe which interventions therapists can use to improve treatment motivation in juveniles, nor do they focus specifically on treatment motivation in a compulsory residential care setting. This article provides an overview of opportunities to enhance adolescents' motivation for treatment in compulsory residential care. Results show that in the reviewed literature, increasing autonomy and competence has received relatively little attention compared to relatedness. In addition, results show that treatment motivation can be enhanced in several different ways, ranging from interventions on an individual to an organizational level. This may indicate that enhancing motivation for treatment in a residential setting needs intervention on multiple levels, involving youths, therapists, group workers and parents. Scientific evidence, however, is limited. Regarding the lack of studies that examine the need for autonomy and competence, future studies should focus on these basic needs for motivation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-125
Number of pages9
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2016

Cite this