Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Family Consumer Human Development

Committee Chair(s)

Scot M. Allgood


Scot M. Allgood


Thomas R. Lee


Kevin Barlow


This study evaluated a physical activity-based residential treatment program. It explored the current literature on adolescent treatment implementing physical exercise with parental participation, specifically at residential treatment centers. While the current literature strongly supports physical exercise and family involvement in adolescent treatment, research on combining physical exercise with family involvement is insufficient at best. The data were obtained from Telos Residential Treatment Center, an all-boys treatment program that incorporates a triathlon into their treatment curriculum and keeps pre- and posttest scores of the Youth Outcome Questionnaire for their students as well as completed questionnaires from students' parents. Research questions addressed whether or not the pre- and posttest scores support Telos' treatment program in terms of standardized test scores as well as possible differences in outcomes based on parent participation in the triathlon. Missing data and data corruption were major flaws in the study, significantly limiting the sample size. Consequently, the research questions could not be tested appropriately; however, there were statistically significant relationships (p < .05) between pre and post scores of intrapersonal distress as well as scores from the Global Assessment of Functioning, with both scores indicating change in a positive direction. Cohen's d also showed change in the desired direction in regards to interpersonal relationships and somatic symptoms. Students of parents who did not participate in a triathlon showed more improvement in interpersonal relationships as well as in intrapersonal distress and somatic symptoms. Parents who trained and physically participated in at least a portion of the triathlon with their son attributed their sons' treatment gains to the emotional intensity of the triathlon more than nonparticipating parents. Contrary to expectation, however, they did not weigh their own participation in the triathlon as heavily as nonparticipating parents in explaining treatment gains, specifically in improvements in how they and their son perceive and experience each other.