First Advisor

Frank Miles

Term of Graduation

Spring 1968

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work




Social adjustment -- Case studies, Juvenile delinquency -- Research



Physical Description

1 online resource (79 leaves)


The purpose of this study was to explore, classify, and evaluate the personal experiences of juvenile offenders following release from a state training school.

During a two month period beginning in the fall of 1967, a group of twenty-three releasees from the MacLaren School for Boys in Woodburn, Oregon were interviewed on a weekly basis in the Portland metropolitan area. The boys, ranging in age from thirteen to seventeen were contacted in their homes, schools, and other settings to learn of positive, negative, and critical experiences encountered in the community.

Open ended questions based upon a twenty- seven item schedule were administered to the boys, focusing upon personal experiences in six major areas: school, family, peer group, community, work and authority. Responses were recorded verbatim and classified according to the boys' judgments of positive and negative connotations. Critical experiences were also recorded to determine specific incidents which brought the boys into contact with legal authorities or otherwise seriously affected their parole status.

Positive, negative, and critical experiences from this study were analyzed both descriptively and statistically. Null hypotheses were tested to determine the quality, quantity, and intensity of experiences with respect to such major variables as age of the boys, race, length of stay in the community, records of school attendance, and personality inventory characteristics. Experiences were similarly related with respect to other variables found to be present as a result of the interviewing experience.

Findings yielded evidence to indicate a predominance of negative experiences in the boys’ contacts with the community following release. The highest proportion of these occurred within the boys’ families, followed by contacts with authority and school, respectively. Peer group relationships for the boys indicated the highest proportion of positive experiences when compared with other major categories.


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A group project submitted to Portland State College in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Social Work.

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