Boot Camp


Boot camps were initially created to assist soldiers in preparing for war. The United States uses boot camps to prepare young soldiers for all of the scenarios of warfare, and provides them with the skills and knowledge they require for adequately protecting our country. However, within the last 50 years, boot camps have become widely popular in treating troubled adolescents who display out of control behaviors. Behavioral modification programs, such as these, are commonly referred to as, boot camps for troubled teens.

In terms of treating troubled teens, boot camps are a relatively new treatment. Starting in the 1960's, boot camps have become an ever increasing treatment option chosen by parents of troubled adolescents. However, Boot camps believe in negative reinforcement in order to 'break' teen's negative behaviors. Psychiatric professionals view boot camps' negative reinforcement strategy to be ineffective in promoting permanent change in troubled teens. In short, parents would be better off choosing an alternative to boot camps for troubled teens.

Alternative treatment options to boot camps

Although a child may appear to have 'changed' after returning home from a boot camp for troubled teens, the child's 'improved behavior' will almost certainly be short-lived. This is because  boot camps do not provide any necessary therapeutic restoration that the teen desperately needs. Therefore, choosing an alternative treatment option, such as residential treatment or a therapeutic boarding school for troubled teens, may be the best solution.