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2014-29: The Growth Factory for Forensic Care Youth Detention Centres YDS (Call 2014-29)

Target group

Young people detained at a youth detention centre (YDC).

Developing a growth mindset

The Growth Factory was a previously developed online training for young people with mild intellectual disability (MID). The method is based on the research, by Carol Dweck and David Yeager, into "mindset interventions". Research shows that mindset interventions can contribute to the reduction of internalising and externalising problems. The Growth Factory for Forensic Care YDCs is an online training that has been specifically developed for young people living in a youth detention centre.

In this intervention, too, the aim is to teach young people to have more faith in their development opportunities. Sometimes young people, without realising it, can believe that they cannot change much about themselves. In the Growth Factory for Forensic Care YDCs, young people learn that change is possible, and they learn which things can help them to become better at something or to change their behaviour. The intervention uses the Future Questionnaire, based on the PACIO (Campbell et al., 2010) in which young people reflect on their wishes and concerns about different areas of life (relationships, home, work & income, healthy living, emotions & behaviour, leisure time). These areas of living correspond to the RNR model that is related to recidivism. This training aims to have a positive influence on the treatment compliance of young people and young adults in forensic care and to help them to make good choices for the future.

Application and effect

In this project, the implementation of the Growth Factory for Forensic Care YDCs was investigated through a pilot study with young people in youth detention centres. Fifty-six young people participated in the pilot study, divided into an intervention and control group. The training consists of six sessions in which the young people make assignments and listen to two experience experts from the Made in Prison organisation. The participants also fill in the Future Questionnaire each session. This pilot study looked at young people's satisfaction with the intervention, and initial indications of its effects on strengthening a growth mindset, empowerment, treatment compliance and the reduction of aggression and depression. The pilot study shows that the majority of the young people are positive about the Growth Factory for Forensic Care YDCs, and the intervention received an average score of 7.7 (1-10). The participants indicated that they learned something and that it is good to think about the future consciously.

Executive party

University of Amsterdam/Pluryn, in cooperation with five youth detention centres and their associated schools.