Military School for Troubled Boys

Military school for troubled boys may not be what you think. If you consider your son to be part of a troubled youth group and looking for a military school you need to read this. This article helps define troubled boys and military school, and choices for military school for troubled boys.

Military School for Troubled Boys?

First, let's clarify a few things about the terminology "military school" and "troubled boys":

• First, "troubled boys" - if you're looking for an accredited and licensed facility for a boy who's experiencing difficulties, the first thing you need to know is just what is troubling him. "Troubled" is not a diagnostic term, and there is not generic treatment for a child who is "troubled." There are treatments, however, for boys who are violent, have conduct disorder, experience learning disabilities, abuse and/or are addicted to substances, are defiant teens, break the law, etc. It's important to get a good match for your child's issue(s) in order to secure a good outcome, and "troubled" is not specific enough to accomplish this.

• Second, "military school" - if your son is suffering from any of the issues that might lead to calling him a "troubled boy," a "military school," is almost certainly not what you want. A military school is a college preparatory school, "most often a private boarding school, but possibly a public school, "with high academic standards and a focus on leadership school, and in almost all cases, without the facilities, staff, or licensing to treat the issues that may be grouped under the general term "troubled." 

Military Approach Effectiveness

• First, if you are looking for a military-style treatment program, be extremely careful choosing a military school for troubled boys. Research has shown problems with recidivism and spread of negative behaviors, even in properly accredited and licensed programs, and there are a number of programs in existence that:

  • do not have proper accreditation or licensed faculty and staff
  • have a history of causing harm to their students

• Second, research studies have not usually gone past 6 months out from the program end in measuring success, so even those that suggest these programs can have positive results, do not show lasting results.

• Third, the authors of the only study that has shown positive results that last 6 months recently, believe the results were due to the fact the program was voluntary, and the authors state they believe this is a critical difference between the program they studied and other programs, like military school for troubled boys. 

 One Suggestion

If you still think a military school approach is what you want, you might want to look at the program that was studied in the research I mentioned above. It is the National Guard Challenge Program, which the authors of the study characterize as "the only voluntary multi-state, public intervention program for youths with conduct problems." 

The National Guard Challenge Program's stated mission is: "to intervene in and reclaim the lives of 16-18 year old high school dropouts, producing program graduates with the values, life skills, education, and self-discipline necessary to succeed as productive citizens."

Keep these things in mind when looking for a military school for troubled boys, and find a treatment facility, boarding school, or other type of school that best suits the academic and therapeutic needs of troubled youth.


Related Article: Therapeutic Boarding Schools >>