Date of Award

Spring 2-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Dr. Annie Alameda

Second Advisor

Dr. Lynda Leavitt

Third Advisor

Dr. Stephen Sherblom


The significance of this study was to examine if adolescents in a juvenile detention center in St. Louis City could self-adjust, cope, or adapt to their levels of stress. There was a great deal of literature available supporting the notion of utilizing affective tactics in combating stress levels among various age groups. However, there was very little information provided on at-risk adolescents in a juvenile detention center confronted with dangerous levels of stress. The importance of understanding how these detained adolescents, between the ages of 12 and 17, approached dealing with their stress was not just beneficial to them, but also to the institution responsible for providing adequate care. It further provided a unique view into the mindset of detained adolescents’ resiliency under such adverse conditions, which could encourage future research on the matter. Therefore, this study analyzed adolescents’ prior stress levels before detainment and once admitted, determining if there was any potential statistical correlation among the 32 participants’ views of their own stress levels and their stress management activities. The participants were equally surveyed on a range of topics to determine their initial approach used in addressing stress while in detention and what methods appeared to provide a greater level of success. The survey also measured the significance of programming and if institutional recreational activities provided substantial amounts of relief or decrease in adolescents’ stress levels. The results outlined what adolescents found to be beneficial and helpful, not an indicator of the operational functions of the institutional programs. Furthermore, one of the initial goals of this study, in collaboration with the participants and the institution, was to gain insightful information, which could potentially serve as an interventional tool or resource for adolescents under stress. iii The results categorized the importance of self-adjusting opportunities or methods applied in dealing with stress among detained adolescents. In addition, the institutional benefits involved a greater recognition and well-conceived opportunities for adolescents to have options in confronting their stress, from an individual or group atmosphere, which could minimize future conflicts. Therefore, the gravity of this research implies how significant it is in finding resourceful tools for all, directly in contact with some of the most difficult and challenging groups; further, encouraging and enhancing adolescents with the ability to successfully adjust to their levels of stress.


Copyright 2018