Boot Camps for troubled teens are defined as behavioral change programs that are created with the objective of restoring troubled teens through the use of military-like training and discipline. In spite of their popularity, boot camps are highly unsuccessful in their intended goals of promoting realistic, permanent changes in the social patterns of distressed adolescents and in some instances result in worsening of a teen’s behavioral patterns. Despite the major shortcoming, boot camps for distressed teens are gaining popularity among parents that need help in rehabilitating their children.
Initially boot camps for troubled teens began the 1960s. The facilities have gained popularity by parents and guardians of troubled teens as a treatment option for their risky, uncontrollable behaviors. Boot camps are grounded in the idea that negative reinforcement eventually breaks the adolescent’s destructive behavior. Ironically, most psychologists are opposed to the use of these facilities and argue that they are highly ineffective in rehabilitating the teens. It would be better off for parents to use an alternative to these facilities to treat their children’s negative behaviors.
Studies have shown that residential treatment centers are a perfect alternative to boot camps, and there are numerous success stories to support this fact. Parent/guardians who are intending to restore their teens through boot camp centers should consider using alternatives, such as residential treatment.